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When Spirits Soar

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Brian Balmages

Brian Balmages

General Info

Year: 2005
Duration: c. 6:10
Difficulty: III (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: FJH Publications
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $80.00; (digital) - $80.00   |   Score Only (print) - $9.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass 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
Trombone I-II-III
Percussion I-II-III, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bells
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Crotales
  • Crystal Water Glasses (2)
  • Finger Cymbals
  • Snare Drum
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Triangle
  • Vibraphone
  • Wind Chimes


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

When Spirits Soar was commissioned by director Jim Pennington and the Douglas S. Freeman High School Concert Band. The title is significant in that it carries a double meaning. The first meaning refers to the celebration at having reached the fiftieth anniversary of the school. It describes the outer sections of the piece, which abound with energy and excitement.

The second meaning refers to a tragic time in history of the school when two seniors were killed in a car accident. The following morning, seniors were told of what had happened. The band was scheduled to perform that night but their director told them that, given the circumstances, they were not required to perform. But everyone decided to perform, and the results were one of the most emotionally powered performances the band has ever had. The tragedy, struggle, and resolve are portrayed in the lyrical section of the piece. A soft and ethereal section uses several effects to convey the presence of these and other spirits in our lives.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

  • Oregon: Required Band List 4A
  • Tennessee: IV


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

All Wind Works


  • Balmages, B. (2005). When Spirits Soar [score]. The FJH Music: Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Brian Balmages website Accessed 15 September 2020