W e   S e v e n

Duration: 10'00"



Instrumentation:

Wind Ensemble -

1 Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes (2° dbl. Crystal Glasses), 2 Bassoons, 1 Contrabassoon, 4 Bb Clarinets (3° & 4° dbl. Crystal Glasses), 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Alto Saxes., 1 Tenor Sax., 1 Baritone Sax., 4 Bb Trumpets, 4 Horns, 2 Tenor Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone, 1 Euphonium, 2 Tubas, 1 String Bass, 4 Percussion

 

OR

 

Brass Band -

1 Eb Soprano Cornet, 4 Bb Solo Cornets, 1 Bb Repiano Cornet, 2 2nd Bb Cornets, 2 3rd Bb Cornets (Both 3rd Cornets dbl. Crystral Glasses), 1 Flugelhorn, 3 Eb Tenor Horns (2nd Horn dbl. Crystal Glasses), 2 Bb Baritone Horns, 2 Bb Tenor Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone, 2 Bb Euphoniums, 2 Eb Basses, 2 Bb Basses, 4 Percussion

*This piece has been performed with an optional narrator and slideshow. If so desired, both items can be supplied.



Program Notes:

"How many things have been denied one day,

only to become realities the next!"

 

- Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

 

We Seven, the title of this work, comes from a book by the same name written by the United States's first astronauts. In 1959, the United States entered the space race by starting a program whose main aims included sending a solo astronaut into space and recovering him safely. Project Mercury, as this program was so called, recruited the first seven American astronauts and successfully sent six of them into space. These men were Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard, and Deke Slayton, and collectively they became known as the "Mercury Seven." Through their efforts and those of countless others, the United States Space Program accomplished much with these six flights, including successfully sending an astronaut into space, putting a man in orbit, and keeping him up there for more than 24 hours. In 1962, shortly after Glenn and Carpenter's orbital flights, the "Mercury Seven" co-wrote the book We Seven, and throughout it the astronauts discuss the events leading from their selection into the program up through Carpenter's flight in May of 1962. The primary material for the work comes from two sources: the use of musical cryptograms to encode the astronauts' names and initials into pitches and the aria 'Un bel dì vedremo' from Giacomo Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly. The inclusion of the latter comes directly from one of Glenn's chapters in the book. Together with a couple of the other astronauts, he would often listen to the opera to unwind from a long day of training. I would like to think that as he was orbiting the Earth that this opera, particularly this aria, would be running through his mind.

 

This work commemorates the Project Mercury on the 50th anniversary of its conclusion and was written for Joseph Parisi and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble.



Commissioned by Joseph Parisi and the University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble.

 

The version for brass band has been prepared by the composer for the Fountain City Brass Band.

 

General Comments:

In the wind ensemble version, the opening solo and ending solo in the bassoon are very high (up to a D5). The composer, upon request, can supply alternate parts for different options. These options are listed below in order of the composer's preferred usage. 

 

- English Horn on the solo part played by Oboe 2 (no other changes needed)

- Flugelhorn on the solo part played by Trumpet 1; Trumpet 2 plays the Trumpet 1 part at Rehearsal A (no other changes needed)

- Trumpet 1 with  Harmon Mute (stem removed) on the solo part; Trumpet 2 plays the Trumpet 1 part at Rehearsal A (no other changes needed)

- Oboe 1 on the solo part; Oboe 2 plays the Oboe 1 part at Rehearsal A (no other changes needed)

- If none of these options work, please contact the composer to work out other possibilities. 





Awards:

Selected Performance, 2017 Society of Composers, Inc. Region VII Conference

Winner, The American Prize 2016 Composition-Band/Wind Ensemble (Student Division) Category

Winner, 2016 Missouri State University Composition Festival Competition

Honorable Mention, 2016 RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Competition

Finalist, 2015 ASCAP Foundation Morton Gould Young Composer Awards

Selected Performance, 2015 Society of Composers, Inc. 50th Anniversary National Conference

Selected Performance, 2015 Society of Composers, Inc. Region VI Conference

 

Performances:

Wind Ensemble Version:

Washington Wind Symphony (Jacob Scherr, conductor) - 25 January 2020; Redmond, WA

University of Texas Symphony Band (Ogechi Ukazu, conductor) - 9 December 2019; Austin, TX

OMEA District 4 & 7 Honor Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 16 November 2019; Cleveland, OH

Eastern Kentucky University Wind Ensemble (Andrew J. Putnam, conductor) - 30 September 2019; Richmond, KY

Philadelphia Freedom Band (Hayley Varhol, conductor) - 17 May 2019; Philadelphia, PA

Arkansas State University Wind Ensemble (Shawn Crawford, conductor) - 24 April 2019; Jonesboro, AR

Memorial University of Newfoundland Wind Ensemble (Bill Brennan, conductor) -

                        23 March, 2019; St. John's, NL, Canada

Knights Rising High School Honor Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 2 February 2019; Orlando, FL

University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 24 January 2019; Osage Beach, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 23 January 2019; Kansas City, MO

University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 5 December 2018; Kansas City, MO

East Central KMEA District Blue Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 1 December 2018; Overland Park, KS

Eastern Michigan University Symphonic Band (Derek Shapiro, conductor) - 17 November 2018; Ypsilanti, MI

LGBA 2018 Yellow Concert Band (Lee Hartman, conductor) - 26 May 2018; Kansas City, MO

University of South Alabama Concert Honor Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 29 April 2018; Mobile, AL

SUNY Fredonia All College Band (Carrie Pawelski, conductor) - 1 March 2018; Fredonia, NY

Bethel College Wind Ensemble (Adam Fontana, conductor) - 22 February 2018; Wichita, KS

Bethel College Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 4 November 2017; North Newton, KS

Arizona State University Wind Ensemble (Jason Caslor, conductor) - 13 October 2017; Tempe, AZ

University of Houston Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 28 April 2017; Houston, TX

Georgia Governor's Honors Program (Russell Brown, conductor) - 5 July 2016; Valdosta, GA

University of Texas Symphony Band (Ryan Kelly, conductor) - 4 May 2016; Austin, TX

Missouri State University Wind Ensemble (Craig B. Davis, conductor) - 1 March 2016; Springfield, MO

Seattle Wind Symphony (John Falskow, conductor) - 27 February 2016; Shoreline, WA

Missouri State University Wind Ensemble (Craig B. Davis, conductor) - 22 February 2016; Springfield, MO

University of Florida Symphonic Band (Garrett Griffin, conductor) - 12 November 2015; Gainesville, FL

University of Arkansas Wind Symphony (W. Dale Warren, conductor) - 20 April 2015; Fayetteville, AR

Henderson State University Wind Ensemble (Carrie Pawelski, conductor) - 8 March 2015; Arkadelphia, AR

Northern Arizona University Wind Symphony (Yudai Ueda, condutor) - 13 October 2014; Flagstaff, AZ

University of Missouri-Kansas City Wind Ensemble (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 7 May 2014; Kansas City, MO



Brass Band Version:

Laurier Brass Ensemble (Erik McIntyre, conductor) - 8 March 2020; Thornhill, ON, Canada

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 26 November 2017; Dobcross, England [Link to Review of Fountain City's UK Tour]

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 24 November 2017; Perth, Scotland [Link to Performance Review]

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 20 November 2017; Rotherham, England

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 19 November 2017; Gateshead, England [Link to Performance Review]

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 16 November 2017; St. Joseph, MO

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 12 November 2017; Kansas City, MO

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 23 October 2017; Sedalia, MO

Prairie Music Residency Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 6 August 2016; Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 16 December 2015; Chicago, IL

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 26 September 2015; Olathe, KS

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 25 September 2015; Topeka, KS

Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor) - 25 April 2015; Olathe, KS



Recordings:

Highlights from Brass in Concert Championship 2017, Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor), World of Bass, 2018. DVD.

Midwest Clinic 2015: Fountain City Brass Band, Fountain City Brass Band (Joseph Parisi, conductor), Mark Custom Recording, 2015. CD.

There's No Place Like Home: LGBA Annual Conference 2018, LGBA 2018 Yellow Band (Lee Hartman, conductor), Mid America Freedom Band, 2018. CD.

Purchase:
"A fitting tribute to the late John Glenn."
- British Bandsman
Signed by John Glenn

Reads: To Derek - with best regards - John Glenn