Band Festival Programme Notes


IgnitionTodd Stalter

Ignition: This title tells it all. Everyone’s hearts will be racing after the raucously energising and blindingly quick concert start. The passion shown in the music and the picture of the title act as a celebration of sound as well as a metaphor for the “spark” of invention.

With Each Sunset (Comes the Promise of a New Day)Richard Saucedo

With Each Sunset is an uplifting and hopeful piece, featuring both soloists and beautiful layered harmonies. The piece was written in memory of Jack Hensley, an American engineer from Georgia, who was kidnapped and murdered while working in Iraq, the very day before his 49th birthday. Through its expressive melodies and emotional peaks and releases, the piece explores the idea that even in the darkest nights there is always a hope for a new beginning, an end to the darkness. 

Rocketship!Kevin Day

Rocketship! is a piece by Kevin Day that was commissioned by and is dedicated to the students and director of bands, Paul Rosales, at William James Middle School in Texas. Rocketship! is a piece that always keeps everyone on their toes and working hard on their playing. It is a vibrant and dynamic piece that features lots of different rhythmic patterns and melodies, as well as a snare drum solo that gives the piece an energetic feeling that builds to the end for our final take off!

The StormchasersRobert Sheldon

This unique march was composed in the style of a circus screamer and is designed to be performed at exhilarating pace for everyone’s enjoyment!  Anyone who enjoys the great Fillmore marches will grin when they hear the composer’s homage to “Uncle Henry” since it is filled with fanfares, flourishes, and melodic lines.


Epic VentureTyler S Grant

Epic Venture is a declarative fanfare which allows all listeners to imagine the story, in a world which is up for interpretation. Although this piece revolves around a single idea, the texture is contantly growing to allow all instruments to be featured. This is a powerful song that has great meaning as well as a thriving story.

Salvation is CreatedPavel Chesnokov, arr Michael Brown

Salvation is Created is a memorable anthem by Pavel Chesnokov, arranged by Michael Brown for younger players. This slow choral has also been arranged so that groups with non-traditional instrumention can also perform this. This piece is a great addition to any set list and is definitely one to remember.

Engines of ResistanceLarry Clark

This piece is sure to blow you away! Composed by Larry Clark, two opposing themes resisting each other creates the force that moves this Engine of Resistance. A motor element in the winds contrats the lyrical melody. And when they clash, not even the percussion’s brake drum can slow things down.

Pictures at an ExhibitionModest Moussorgsky, arr Michael Sweeney

This selection of three movements from Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is sure to get your feet tapping. We open with Promenade, which is a repeated then throughout the complete suite. It makes use of changing time signature and accents to great effect. This is followed by The Hut of Baba Yaga, a fearsome figure in folklore. The motifs in this are meant to imitate the bells of a clock and the whirlwind sound of a chase. To cap the piece of Is the finale from the original suite, The Great Gate of Kiev. Written to commemorate a narrow escape from assassination in 1866, it mirrors some elements of the Promenade, but it has a wonder that it its very own.

Spy ChaseBrant Karrick

Spy Chase by Brant Karrick is a fun and mysterious piece influenced by the signature characteristics of music from spy movies. Along with composition, conducting, and more, Karrick studied and played trumpet, so it’s no surprise that although melodies are often passed to various instruments in the band, this piece favours the trumpet section. A Bossa Nova section and a fun trombone feature make Spy Chase unique, but the use of familiar ‘spy chords’ using minor triads with added 6ths or raised 7ths gives this piece a classic spy movie feel inspired by some of Brant Karrick’s favourite spy movies.

Earth, Wind, and Firearr Paul Murtha

Earth, Wind and Fire Dance Mix features three of the group’s most popular songs – Boogie Wonderland, Let’s Groove and Sing a Song. This groovy mashup is just as fun to play as it is to listen to, and at this point has become a veritable West City classic. It’s been played many times throughout the years, and we’re so excited to bring it to life once more at the West Auckland Band Festival!