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Through the Vulcan's Eye

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Robert W. Smith

Robert W Smith

Subtitle: Red Mountain Celebrations

General Info

Year: 1996
Duration: c. 6:30
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Alfred Publishing
Cost: Score and Parts - $85.00   |   Score Only - $12.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra 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-III-IV
Trombone I-II-III
Baritone(Bass Clef & Treble Clef)
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Chimes
  • Marimba
  • Xylophone
  • Snare drum
  • Bass drum
  • Triangle
  • Crash cymbal
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Spoons
  • Tambourine
  • Wind chimes
  • Wood block


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

High atop Red Mountain, overlooking the magnificent city of Birmingham, Alabama, stands an iron sentinel, a monument that keeps watch over Alabama’s City of Steel. The “Vulcan” can see and be seen from virtually every corner of the city. Through the Vulcan’s Eye is an original composition for wind band, inspired by the composer’s childhood experiences in the state’s largest metropolis.

Through the Vulcan’s Eye is comprised of four melodies that describe views from the top of the mountain. The opening statement in the brass, which is answered by the full ensemble, depicts the grandeur of the downtown skyline with its towers of concrete, glass and steel. The brisk melodic statement that follows is quite hectic by comparison. As one watches in the early morning, the city comes to life with its network of busy highways and crowded streets. Even the accompaniment seems to have a “mind” of its own under the energetic melodic line. Looking into the distance, one can see a more rural picture with rolling hills and green pastures and fields. The composer created a 7/8 jig which is reminiscent of a country fiddler playing at a family gathering. The landscape is dotted with various church steeples which seem to glisten in the early morning dawn. A simple hymn captures these images in sound.

The work was commissioned by the University of Alabama-Birmingham for performance at the 1995 Honor Band Festival. The event was held in December on the campus of UAB. The Honor Band was under the direction of Clifford M. Winter, III, Director of Bands at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The composer had the honor of conducting the first performance.

- Program note by composer

Broad brush strokes of sound blanket, the work is enhanced by brilliant solo passages and total involvement from the percussion. A grand work on a grand scale!

- Program note by publisher


Sample download; ensemble and conductor unknown

State Ratings

  • Alabama: Band Class B
  • Ohio: OMEA High School Band A
  • South Carolina: IV


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