Working Together


Grade Level 3

For SATB Chorus and Concert Band


Working Together by James M. Stephenson

for SATB chorus and concert band

Premiered in March of  2022 by the Plainfield High School, Jerod Cook director

duration: 6 minutes


piccolo, flute 1-2, oboe, 2 Bb clarinet 1-2, bass clarinet, alto sax 1-2, tenor sax, baritone sax trumpet 1-2, french horn, trombone, baritone, tuba piano + SATB choir, timpani, 6 percussion:

percussion instruments needed:
mallets 1: glockenspiel
mallets 2: xylophone, marimba
percussion 1 (2 players): suspended cymbals, triangle, cymb. a2
percussion 2: snare drum
percussion 3: bass drum

Notes from the composer:

When Jerrod Cook called me about writing a new work to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Plainfield South High School, I was excited for a few reasons:

1) The idea of combining ensembles at any institution is always inspiring to me, because it means there will be collaborative efforts and something unique about the project.

2) I love setting text. Setting music to words always results in a different sound for me.

3) I grew up very near to Plainfield (Lockport). So this felt “close to home”, so to speak.

When it came time to find the right text, however, nothing was jumping out at me.
Therefore, I decided to write my own!
I was struck by the words Jerrod used to describe the project: “We want something positive, uplifting, and has a message about collaboration/working together, determination, and perseverance.” I also did further research about the school, revealing its description of the school mascot (cougar) and the school crest: “(Cougars) are swift, graceful, powerful creatures. They never hesitate and none of their movements are wasted. They are intelligent and proud.
The school Crest has concepts of devotion, scholarship, pride and compassion that define the beliefs of our school.”

After reading these statements I began to hear music in my head and the piece came to life. It is six minutes of music that demonstrates power, grace, and beauty. The chorus section of “working together” is meant to do nothing more than uplift the spirits of those singing, those playing, and those listening. Which I hope is appropriate and well received in celebrating the proud achievement of a school’s 20th anniversary.

I sincerely thank Jerrod Cook for this opportunity. It was truly fun and rewarding to create. ~ Jim Stephenson; January, 2022

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