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Undertow

From Wind Repertory Project
John Mackey

John Mackey


General Info

Year: 2008
Duration: c. 5:10
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Osti Music
Cost: Score and Parts - $120.00   |   Score Only - $20.00


Instrumentation

Full Score
Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contra-Alto Clarinet (optional)
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Horn in F I-II
Trombone I-II-III
Euphonium
Tuba
Double Bass (optional)
Timpani
Percussion I-II-III-IV-V-VI, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Cymbals (china, splash, large suspended)
  • Crotales
  • Maracas (2)
  • Marimba
  • Tambourine
  • Tam-tam
  • Tom-toms (4)
  • Vibes
  • Xylophone


Errata

  • The instrumentation page in the score indicates that there are two bassoon parts, but there is only one.


Program Notes

Though many of his pieces are extremely virtuosic, Undertow is the first of Mackey's works written specifically for intermediate band. It was commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band and premiered by that ensemble with its conductor, Cheryl Floyd, in May 2008. The work is significantly different than much of Mackey's output in terms of technical difficulty, but many characteristic elements of his writing are nonetheless present, including biting semitone dissonance within a tonal context, frequent use of mixed meter, heavy percussion effects and, perhaps most importantly to this work, a pervasive ostinato. The metric pattern for the piece is an alternation of 7/8 and 4/4 time, which provides an agitated "out-of-step" pulsation throughout. The energetic opening melody cycles through several repetitions before washing away into a gentle stream of percussive eighth notes. From here, a countermelody emerges that slowly ratchets the energy back up to its original level, where the initial melody returns to round out the explosive conclusion.

- Program note by Jake Wallace


Undertow was written to portray a spinning current that is capable of pulling a large ship under water.

- Program Note from New Diana High School Band concert program, 12 February 2016


Commercial Discography

None discovered thus far.


Audio Links


State Ratings

  • Texas: IV


Performances

To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Hopatcong (N.J.) Wind Ensemble (Kurt Zimmerman, conductor) – 16 May 2019
  • Abilene (Tx.) Christian University Wind Ensemble (Brandon Houghtalen, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Penn State University (University Park) Concert Band (Robert Hickey, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta) (Concert Band) (Benjamin J. Diden, conductor) – 14 April 2019
  • Randolph (N.J.) High School Symphonic Winds (Carl Della Peruti, conductor) – 6 March 2019
  • Ithaca (N.Y.) College Concert Band (Brian Diller, conductor) – 4 March 2019
  • California All-State Junior High School Concert Band (Reed Chamberlin, conductor) - 17 February 2019 (2019 CASMEC Conference, Fresno)
  • Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge) Symphonic Band (Kelvin Jones, conductor) – 20 November 2018
  • The Ohio State University (Columbus) University Band (Alexander Gonzalez, conductor) – 13 November 2018
  • Arkansas State University (Jonesboro) Symphonic Winds (Sarah Labovitz, conductor) – 8 November 2018
  • Kings County (New York) Concert Band (Jasmine Britt, conductor) – 3 June 2018
  • University of Texas, Arlington, Symphonic Band (Christopher Evans, conductor) – 26 April 2018
  • Iowa State University (Ames) Symphonic Band (Tyler Bainter, conductor) – 20 April 2018
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) Gold Campus Band (Betsy McCann, conductor) – 30 November 2017
  • Augustana University (Sioux Falls, S.D.) Honor Band (Christopher Unger, conductor) – 11 November 2017
  • Appalachian State University (Boone, N.C.) Symphony Band (Kevin Richardson, conductor) – 30 April 2017
  • University of Texas (Austin) Texas Concert Band (Scott Hanna, conductor) – 24 April 2017
  • University of Arkansas - Little Rock Wind Ensemble (Ken Goff, conductor) - 21 February 2017
  • University of Minnesota (Minneapolis) High School Honor Band (Emily Threinen, conductor) – 22 January 2017
  • Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) Concert Band (Joseph Higgins, conductor) – 1 December 2016
  • Duke University (Durham, N.C.) Wind Symphony (Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, conductor) – 17 November 2016


Works for Winds by this Composer


Resources