Second Thoughts




for Grade 2.5 concert band
duration 3.5′

Many thanks to Rich Paluch and the Mannheim Middle School Educational Foundation for the commission of this work. I am always so very thankful to those who believe in the continuing of new music by supporting living composers, especially when it is music to be played by young musicians.

Notes from the composer:
“Second Thoughts” is an exercise in three parts:

1) Understanding that seconds aren’t necessarily dissonant, and should be played confidently, and with care toward intonation, to achieve the desired effect.

2) There are two main themes. Oftentimes, the first theme is accompanied by the second theme, or snippets thereof. It would be an interesting exercise for the instructor to challenge the students to discover how these themes are put together.

3) “Second Thoughts” is mainly a lyrical and reflective piece, as if the author (not this author) is looking back and perhaps having second thoughts about something from their past. Therefore, many of the dynamics are of the softer nature. Playing softly is one of the most often neglected aspects of performance practice (from my observation), and so I would encourage strong emphasis on reading the dynamics.


  • Flute 1-2, Oboe (cross-cued), Bassoon (cross-cued), Bb Clarinet 1-3, Bb Bass Clarinet, Eb Alto Sax. 1-2, Bb Tenor Sax, Eb Baritone Sax Bb Trumpet 1-3, F Horns 1-2 (cross-cued), Trombone 1-3, Baritone (cross-cued), Tuba, Timpani, Mallets (Bells), Percussion: Triangle, Sus. Cymbal, Snare Drum

— James M. Stephenson; 2-4-2014 (coincidentally, my 45th birthday)

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