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We Seven

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Derek M Jenkins

Derek M Jenkins

General Info

Year: 2014
Duration: c. 10:00
Difficulty: V (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Murphy Music Press
Cost: Score and Parts - $200.00 + shipping


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II (II doubling Crystal Glasses)
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III-IV (III-IV doubling Crystal Glasses)
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone I-II
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet I-II-III-IV
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Tenor Trombone I-II
Bass Trombone
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I-II-III-IV, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Chimes
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Glass, water filled
  • Marimba
  • Suspended Cymbals (different sizes)
  • Tam-Tam
  • Triangles (3: small, medium, large)
  • Vibraphone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

How many things have been denied one day,
only to become realities the next!
- Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

We Seven, the title of this work, comes from a book by the same name written by the United States' first astronauts. In 1959, the U.S. entered the space race by starting a program whose main aims included sending a solo astronaut into space and recovering him safely. Project Mercury, as this program was so called, recruited the first seven American astronauts and successfully sent six of them into space. These men were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton, and collectively they became known as the "Mercury Seven." Through their efforts and those of countless others, the U.S. space program accomplished much with these six flights, including successfully sending an astronaut into space, putting a man in orbit, and keeping him up there for more than 24 hours. In 1962, shortly after Glenn and Carpenter's orbital flights, the Mercury Seven co-wrote the book We Seven, and throughout it the astronauts discuss the events leading from their selection into the program up through Carpenter's flight in May of 1962.

The primary material for the work comes from two sources: the use of musical cryptograms to encode the astronauts' names and initials into pitches, and the aria Un bel dì vedremo from Giacomo Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly. The inclusion of the latter comes directly from one of Glenn's chapters in the book. Together with a couple of the other astronauts, he would often listen to the opera to unwind from a long day of training. I would like to think that as he was orbiting the earth that this opera, particularly this aria, would be running through his mind.

This work commemorates the Project Mercury on the 50th anniversary of its conclusion and was written for Joseph Parisi and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble.

- Program Note by composer


  • The American Prize (Composition-Band/Wind Ensemble [Student Division]), 2016, winner
  • Missouri State University Composition Festival, 2016, winner
  • RED NOTE New Music Festival, 2016, honorable mention
  • ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards, 2016, finalist


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's) Wind Ensemble (Bill Brennan, conductor) - 4 April 2023
  • Stephen F. Austin State University (Nacogdoches, Tx.) Symphonic Band (Chris Kaatz, conductor) - 19 April 2022
  • Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond) Symphonic Band (Andrew J. Putnam, conductor) – 22 February 2020 (CBDNA 2020 Southern Division Conference, Natchitoches, La.)
  • Cincinnati (Ohio) Youth Wind Ensemble (Ann Porter, conductor) – 21 February 2020
  • Washington (Bellvue) Wind Symphony (Jacob Scherr, conductor) – 25 January 2020
  • Central Oklahoma Directors Association Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 11 January 2020
  • University of Texas (Austin) Symphony Band (Ogechi Ukazu, conductor) – 9 December 2019
  • Coastal Carolina University Wind Ensemble (Garrett Griffin, conductor) - 21 November 2019
  • University of Florida (Gainesville) Symphonic Band (John Watkins Jr., conductor) – 21 November 2019
  • Ohio Music Educators Association District 4 & 7 Honors Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 16 November 2019 (Cleveland State University)
  • Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond) Wind Ensemble (Andrew J. Putnam, conductor) – 30 September 2019
  • Philadelphia (Penn.) Freedom Band (Hayley Varhol, conductor) – 17 May 2019
  • Arkansas State University (Jonesboro) Wind Ensemble (Timothy Oliver, conductor) – 25 April 2019
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's) Wind Ensemble (Bill Brennan, conductor) – 23 March 2019
  • Knights Rising High School Honor Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 2 February 2019
  • University of Missouri, Kansas City, Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 23 January 2019
  • 2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association (Kansas City, Mo.) Yellow Band (Lee Hartman, conductor) – 26 May 2018
  • University of South Alabama (Mobile) Concert Honor Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) – 29 April 2018
  • State University of New York, Fredonia, All-College Band (Carrie Pawelski, conductor) – 1 March 2018
  • Bethel College (North Newton, Kan.) Wind Ensemble (Adam V. Fontana, conductor) – 4 November 2017
  • University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 7 May 2014 *Premiere Performance*

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

  • Fountains (Adaptable Band) (2014/2020)
  • Kolo (Flex instrumentation) (2015/2020)
  • Solar Flare (Flex instrumentation) (2019/2020)

All Wind Works