Composed 2008 for Concert Band

Through The Looking Glass was premiered on April 20, 2008 by the Doane College Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

Through the Looking Glass was my first “hey, let’s have an experiment” composition. The original plan was to compose a piece whose woodwind parts would be a mirror image of the brass parts. I quickly realized just how difficult that would be, and altered the plan so I wouldn’t hate myself so much. The result was the keys of Q major and minor.

The key of Q major is simple (in premise) – one flat and one sharp, starting on concert D. The result is an almost mixolydian scale, save for the sixth note. Most of the song, however, is in Q minor, which has two flats and two sharps. This scale is sometimes known as the Spanish gypsy scale, but Q minor sounds a lot more fun. The resulting piece sounds foreign in its tonality, yet not so much so that audience members have a hard time following along. Solo cadenzas for baritone, tuba and kitchen percussion and a “drunken quintet” of oboe, tenor saxophone, bassoon, trombone, and tuba allow you to showcase some performers that rarely get the opportunity to do so.

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