S o l a r F l a r e
2 Flutes, 1 Oboe, 1 Bassoon, 2 Bb Clarinets, 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Alto Sax., 1 Tenor Sax., 1 Baritone Sax., 2 Bb Trumpets, 2 Horns, 2 Trombones, 1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba, 5 Percussion
"It is the stars,
The stars above us, govern our conditions."
– William Shakespeare’s King Lear
Our sun has represented different things throughout history. It was a deity. An indirect source of food. A supplier of light. A point for navigation. An aid in the telling of time. However, one thing has remained constant: humans have always been enamored by the sheer power of the sun. Solar flares are one such manifestation of this power. NASA states that "[solar] eruptions are created when the motion of the sun's interior contorts its own magnetic fields. Like the sudden release of a twisted rubber band, the magnetic fields explosively realign, driving vast amounts of energy into space. This phenomenon can create a sudden flash of light - a solar flare." This piece alludes to the awesome power of a solar flare with its driving rhythms, sudden changes, and majestic fanfares.
Solar Flare was commissioned by John Oelrich for the 40th Annual University of Tennessee at Martin Honor Band Festival for performance by the festival's Junior High Honor Band.
ASBOA Region IV All-Region Band (Steven Riley, conductor) - 18 January 2020; Jonesboro, AR
University of Tennessee at Martin Junior High Honor Band (Lindsey Williams, conductor) - 26 January 2019; Martin, TN