Movements (may be played individually)
1. Fanfare – 2:30
2. Chorale – 3:00
3. Dance – 3:00
4. Finale – 3:00
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Percussion I-II-III, including:
- Bass Drum
- Crash Cymbals
- Sleigh Bells
- Snare Drum
- Suspended Cymbal
- Wood Block
None discovered thus far.
Sapphire was commissioned by and written for the Mid America Freedom Band (MAFB) in honor of its tenth anniversary. Sapphire is the gemstone of tenth anniversaries, but more importantly that brilliant blue represents “harmony” in the LGBTQ Pride flag. What a perfect combination!
The piece is built off of a four-note motive representing MAFB. In solfège,“M”can be “Mi” or “Me.” I chose E-flat -- “Me” -- from a fixed-Do system. “A” equals pitch A, “F” equals F, and in the German system, “B” equals B-flat. These pitches are used melodically and harmonically throughout the work.
“Fanfare is a strident display of fast trills and runs with a brief respite of solo woodwinds. A quartet of solo brass players leads back into a restatement of the original material, and the trombones close the movement in a blaze of glory.
The middle two movements, Chorale (for saxophones and brass) and Dance (for woodwinds, percussion, and bass), are played back-to-back without a break. A band is only as strong as its members, and so I used the names of all the MAFB members playing in the premiere as the basis for these two movements. The Chorale uses a musical alphabet in which every letter of the alphabet is assigned a pitch; of course some have to repeat as there are more letters than pitches available. The Dance is a quirky off-kilter quasi-waltz. I used a modified system of Morse code to embed the member names in this movement. With talented piccolo and contrabass players, I could not resist the urge to end the movement with a demented duet between the two extremes of the ensemble.
Finale is a Latin-infused party. It is pure fun, and the rhythmic drive of the movement is taken from the natural rhythm of speaking “Mid-America Freedom Band.” Luckily for us this rhythm fit perfectly over Latin dance patterns.
- Program Note by composer
Audio: Mid America Freedom Band (Lee Hartman, conductor - 2013
None discovered thus far.
To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project
- William Jewell Symphonic Band (Liberty, Mo.) (Langston Hemenway, conductor) - 23 April 2016
- Mid America Freedom Band (Kansas City, Mo.) (Lee Hartman, conductor) - 20 April 2013
Works for Winds by This Composer
- Ave Maria volgarizzata da Dante (as arranger) (2019)
- Concertante (2005)
- Concerto for Vibraphone (2009)
- Des Monstres et prodiges (2017)
- ...in fragile bark, o'er a tempestuous sea, the common harbor... (2016)
- i/xhale (2017)
- Mehter Suite (2019)
- Sapphire (2013)
- Selections from "The Nutcracker Suite" (as arranger) (2013)
- Song for Edie (2015)
- Toccata and ... (2020–21)
- Tornado (2004)
- Trobairitz (2019–20)
- Winter Night (Sleigh Ride) (as arranger) (2016)
- Lee Hartman website Accessed 21 January 2020