Where the Stormy Winds Blow

From Wind Repertory Project
Jesse Ayers

Jesse Ayers

Subtitle: A Concert Story for Concert Band and Singer-Storyteller

General Info

Year: 2022
Duration: c. 13:55
Difficulty: IV (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Jesse Ayers
Cost: Score and Parts (print) - $200.00; (digital) - $120.00


Full Score
C Piccolo
Flute I-II
Oboe I-II
Bassoon I-II
B-flat Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
B-flat Bass Clarinet
E-flat Alto 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
String Bass
Percussion, including:

  • Bass Drum
  • Bodhrán (optional)
  • Crash Cymbals
  • Orchestra Bells
  • Suspended Cymbal
  • Tambourine
  • Tom-Toms (3-4 low)
  • Triangle
  • Xylophone


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

This is a true story of an 1873 maritime incident on Lake Michigan somewhere between Beaver Island and Traverse City. At this time, almost all the residents of Beaver Island were Irish immigrants for whom Gaelic, not English, was the primary language, and Beaver Island had become the largest supplier of fresh-water fish for the entire country. Fishing was central to the island’s way of life, and the islanders were all too familiar with the dangers of being at sea.

The story told in the present work, and much of the narration, is drawn from primary sources: 1937 Library of Congress field recordings of oral accounts given by two men then in their 70s, Dominick Gallagher, Jr. and Andrew Gallagher (not related), children at the time of the 1873 incident, but with personal acquaintance of all involved.

This work also utilizes a Lake Michigan sea shanty known as The Gallagher Boys, the text of which was composed only one year after the incident by Dan Malloy of Beaver Island (to music that was likely pre-existing). Malloy would have also personally known all those involved. The last two verses have been newly written by the present composer.

The audience, representing the Islanders, helps perform the piece. Audience members will be invited by the “storyteller” to sing along on the one-line refrain of the shanty at its various appearances.

The composer wishes to thank the Michigan City Municipal Band and its director, Jeffrey Scott Doebler, for this commission and the opportunity to compose this work.

- Program Note by composer

Commissioned by the Michigan City Municipal Band, Jeffrey Scott Doebler, director.

- Program Note from score


State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


To submit a performance please join The Wind Repertory Project

  • Valparaiso (Ind.) University Chamber Concert Band (Robert Lark, conductor; Richard AmRhein, narrator) - 11 February 2023

Works for Winds by This Composer