About the consortium
From the consortium leader...
Ryan Williams has been a member of the marching band staff at Dutch Fork High School for the last 3 years. Recently, I have had the opportunity to see his writing style and approach up close in our marching band shows. Between marching band and discovering his concert music compositions, like The Phoenix Rises, I decided I would love to be involved in the creation of a new work from this great and upcoming composer. I started this consortium to allow many directors an easy opportunity to participate in the commission process, to help bring new band literature to our students, and to get to be a part of the premiere of what will surely be a fantastic work.
Mr. Jeremy Ley
Director of Bands
Dutch Fork High School
From the composer...
As we are looking, with cautious optimism, as a new school year returning much closer to "normal" and the joyful thoughts of having our bands back together, there will be no doubt energy to make the first concerts "back" a great experience. Surely, directors will be wanting to look to some of the old, classic war horses of the repertoire to make an appearance on programs - and what better way to compliment the classics with a new and exciting work?
Red-Eye will be a piece that blends some of the stylistic influence coming from deep graduate studies in music theory and composition trends throughout the ever-changing styles of the modern era of music, along with acknowledgment of the ways that bands like to traditionally operate. There's a beautiful style of music to be found at that crossroads, where the "band" world meets the "art music" world. My aim to try to find that intersection and create a piece that pays respect to both styles of influence.
From the program note...
In any normal year, when we’re not encumbered with a global pandemic, I tend to travel a lot. At least one month, I end up on a flight to go do “band” somewhere: judging in the fall, winter camps for DCI, clinics with bands all over the country, working with a drum corps in Germany - just, lots of opportunities. I really do enjoy it.
Sometimes, you can’t escape the inevitable “first flight of the day” so you can get to where you need to go in time to do the thing you need to do.
I’m not referring to the 7:00 or 7:30 flight in the morning - I mean the really brutal flights: that 5:45 AM departure. The mix of business travelers who are traveling for a single meeting, people on the way to a vacation, airline crew shuffling locations for their next leg, and the general weary traveler, yearning for the cart to roll past with a fresh cup of coffee.
This seeds of this project were germinated on some such mornings. Usually, I don’t mind getting up early to catch a flight, but sometimes you get one of those itineraries that’s just a drag. Up late the night before, getting packed, gathering all the things you’ll need for the trip, staging the bags by the door for a quick departure, finally getting to bed later than planned. Never sleeping well because of the fear of missing the alarm clock. Finally, you drift off, and just as your body really settles into that deep sleep, you hear it - you’re snapped awake, and you know that you left yourself *just enough* time to get yourself together, get out the door, and make it through security to catch the flight.
It’s on those flights that I feel like the day never actually settles down. It’s an odd situation, really. Once you’re on the airplane, your contribution to the schedule has ended - everything else is in the hands of the airline, the airport crews, and the weather. But the anxiety never really seems to dissipate. It’s just one, non-stop sense of “GO!”
Samples of the drafts/sketches
Commission Consortium particulars...
- The work is planning to be around a Grade 4 level - "Medium-Advanced," and around 5 to 7 minutes in length. It should be suitable for most typical high school ensembles.
- Instrumentation will be for a full ensemble, but will accommodate some more common limitations, e.g. a full (four) horns. Percussion is still being developed, but will be suitable for 6 or 7 players and encompassing a typical percussion inventory.
- The score will be delivered approximately around mid-November 2021 - in time to plan for 2022 concert programs
- The composer will do at least one workshop rehearsal with your group during your concert preparations - at the very least, a virtual workshop. In-person sessions are absolutely a possibility, depending on travel arrangements.
- Consortium members will have exclusive rights to the work for through the end of the 2022-2023 academic year. Purchases by other directors/ensembles will not be shipped out until after June 1, 2023.
- Consortium members will receive a full PDF set of score and parts, along with a printed & signed 11x17 score, shipped to you.
- Parts will be formatted for 8.5x11 (letter-sized) paper. By virtue of purchasing the work, you are will have rights to make photocopies for the members of the ensemble performing the work. Copies should be collected following the performance of the work.
- Members of the consortium be will listed in the front of the score, in order signed on to the project.
How to join in!
There are two ways that you can jump into this commission!
First, if you are able to use a credit card, simply just click here to add the commission to the shopping cart and check out!