Requiem Dances


for chamber wind ensemble


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Requiem Dances
for children

James M. Stephenson

Commissioned by Alan and Dolly Bodick Korest For the Bower School of Music and the Arts
Premiered on April 21, 2018 by the FGCU Wind Symphony, Gary Green conducting

for chamber wind ensemble
duration: 13′

2 flutes (fl. 2 doubles piccolo)
oboe, 2 Bb clarinets, bassoon
saxophones: soprano, alto, tenor, baritone horn, 2 C trumpets, trombone euphonium, tuba
percussion (one player)
mallets: glockenspiel, marimba, crotales
percussion: wood block, snare drum, triangle, slap-sticks
ratchet, 2 sus. cymbs (small, large), bass drum tambourine, splash cymbal, tenor drum
snare drum, claves, tam-tam
piano, organ, double bass


Program Notes: 

”Because I’m sick and tired of children getting killed.”

This is all I could think about after the most recent repeat of yet another mass shooting in this ‘beloved’ country of ours.
Just the day after the shooting in Parkland, FL, where 17 students were killed, I was to begin a new piece for the FGCU wind orchestra and the Bower School of Music. Not being able to get the event out of my mind, I could only channel it into music. The only vision that kept coming to mind was that of children who will never again get to dance, as I know young people love to do, from my own experience of having four teenagers in the house.
Therefore the music is infused with dance-like rhythms, but always with an undertone of severity, or of foreboding. The dance just keeps trying to escape, to get to the forefront, but circumstances just won’t let it happen.
Finally, at the end, is a chorale filled with sadness, and then anger. The dance theme once again re-emerges in the piccolo, but eventually just gives up, representing a hopelessness for the future, felt by the composer. Hopefully I won’t have to write too many more pieces like this.
Jim Stephenson; March 4, 2018

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