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Gazing Earthward

Wind Ensemble (Grade 4)

Approximate Length: 8 minutes

Delivery Date:

Within a week of joining the consortium

Use one or both links below

(electronic delivery)



piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 3 clarinets, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet (opt.), 2 alto saxes., tenor sax., baritone sax., 3 trumpets, 4 horns, 2 tenor trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, string bass (opt.), timpani, and 4 percussion

Consortium Leader: Dr. Corey Seapy, University of Central Missouri


Fifty years ago, NASA launched America’s first space station: Skylab. Yet, all did not initially go to plan. During the launch, Skylab’s micrometeoroid shield and one of its main solar panels were lost. The first crew to occupy the station was originally scheduled to launch the next day. Their mission was delayed eleven days as NASA came up with a plan to rescue the crippled Skylab. When they finally reached it, the crew added “mechanic” to their job descriptions as they worked to save Skylab and make it operable. Temperatures inside had become unlivable, and toxic fumes threatened the station. However, through their efforts, Skylab was saved and would go on to orbit earth nearly 2500 times and play an important role in the history of space exploration.
To me, this story has great musical potential. The thrill of a launch and the damage Skylab sustained can be interpreted as a thrilling and then deflating opening. The limping station with its sweltering heat and uninhabitable interior creates opportunities to use novel sounds, while the repairs can be brought to life with metallic “clanging” and a slow, coalescence of musical ideas. For the ending, I envision a grandiose chorale, as the astronauts get the station back online and it turns to look at Earth. It is in these moments that many space farers experience a shift of thinking called the “overview effect.” Among other feelings, it features a state of awe and increased sense of connectivity with the rest of humankind. 

The consortium fee will be $250, requested by December 31, 2023. The University of Central Missouri will premiere the work on October 25, 2023
, which will be followed by 14 months of exclusivity for all consortium members (October 26, 2023 - December 31, 2024).


If your ensemble is interested in joining this consortium, please fill out this form: 
Consortium Interest Form
To join the consortium, use the PayPal button below or contact the composer directly for an invoice. Fees can be paid any time before December 31, 2023.
Consortium Commission Fee for "Gazing Earthward" - $250
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