I Hear Him!
I Hear Him!
Fore the Maestro
Frederick Fennell is one of my most beloved musical heroes. Since the very first time I saw him work with a high school honor band, and with every ensemble since, I was struck by his exuberant love for music and music-making.click to read more
I Hear Him! is a musical farewell to a lost hero. I have utilized motives from pieces that affected me deeply as I watched the maestro at work. These experiences touched my heart and changed my life as a musician. He inspired me in so many ways both as a performer and as a conductor. I continue to look to him for inspiration even though he has left this earth.
The musical motives come from Bach’s Come Sweet Death, Grainger’s Lincolnshire Posy, Holst’s First Suite in E-flat, and Fennell’s own The Drummer’s Heritage. The motives are threaded throughout the composition as I attempt to create a tapestry of sound that reminds us of Maestro Fennell’s many memorable moments.
The title, I Hear Him!, comes from the story that his daughter told of his last words before his death. He said that he was frustrated because there was no drummer. She told him that heaven’s best drummer was on the way. Shortly he proclaimed, “I hear him, I hear him, I’m OK now.” Those were his last words.
As wind band conductors and musicians…we will always hear him. To the Maestro.
…and the antelope play
Winner—2007 College Band Directors National Association Young Band Composition Contest
My tone poem, …and the antelope play, depicts the transformation through time of the Antelope Valley—from ancient times, to the eventual displacement of the Native American culture, to modern times. The work considers both geographical and cultural aspects in its musical portrayal of the vast and beautiful high desert of California.click to read more
…and the antelope play is a through-composed tone poem in eight sections, played without pause, with each section bearing a descriptive verse from my poem:
- …first there was wind
- …morning light
- …behold the valley
- …and the antelope play
- …the plight of the valley
- …the spirit remains
- …and the antelope?
- …the valley home
Published by Manhattan Beach Music—Grade 3
Centennial Celebration Fanfare
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Long Beach Municipal Band
Centennial Celebration Fanfare is dedicated to the Long Beach Municipal Band and its conductor, Mr. Larry Curtis, in honor of the 100th anniversary of its debut on March 14, 1909.
Published by C. Alan Publications—Grade 5+
A Dream of Coming Home
Dedicated to those in service to our country stationed afar
A Dream of Coming Home was written and dedicated to all of those in service to our country stationed away from their homeland. The piece depicts the dream-like thoughts that run through the mind as you reminisce about all that is dear to the heart: A stroll down a familiar street, writing a letter to loved-ones, the sight of brothers, sisters, mother and father, holding sons and daughters, birds chirping a familiar tune, the scent of a summer rainstorm, the glorious first glimpse of home upon return, and the peaceful smile of a comforting final thought…click to read more
Published by C. Alan Publications—Grade 3 http://www.c-alanpublications.com
Twilight at Silver Falls
Silver Falls State Park is known as the “crown jewel” of the Oregon State Parks system. A true scenic treasure. The 7.2 mile “Trail of Ten Falls” loops through dense forested landscapes passing the ten beautiful cascading falls along the way. The most spectacular of which is the 177 foot descending curtain of water from South Falls.
The piece is sub-titled as follows:
Approachng the Falls
Above the Falls
Below The Falls
Through The Mist
The Splendor of the Falls
Published by World Projects – Grade 3
Morning Sun Upon the Wild Prairie Rose
The idea of the piece came as I was attempting to write a piece for Luther College alum, Adolph “Bud” Herseth. A request from the commission was that it should not be a trumpet solo piece. So, I decided, after much trial and thought, to write a piece that represented his personality and influence rather than his instrument. The true inspiration came when I decided to emulate through music the undeniable twinkle in his eyes. He was a simple man yet one of the greatest musicians in the world. He maintained a simple lifestyle his entire life and truly enjoyed the small pleasures that life brought to him outside of music.click to read more
To bring the composition together, I selected the simple beauty of the Wild Prairie Rose (the state flower of Iowa) to depict the bouquet, and the simple beauty that God bestows upon all of us when we take the time to look. Bud always took the time to look.
In the piece itself, you will hear simple short musical gestures rather than long musical lines. These gestures represent Bud’s short solos and the Prairie Roses within the grand and colorful bouquet. Each has their own color, size, volume, speed, and age. Although not direct quotes from the orchestral literature, these fragments are representative of symphonic solos. The end of the piece finds the only direct quote from the literature and a trumpet solo. A three-note solo (E-C-G) that Mr. Herseth made famous from Brahms’ Symphony No. 1, Adagio movement. This is said to be one of his favorite musical moments in the orchestral literature.
The challenge in performing the piece is to play each gesture with confidence and beauty….just like a great soloist and/or a beautiful rose.
I hope you enjoy the musical bouquet of the Wild Prairie Rose. I wish that it brings a smile…and a twinkle to your eye…..just like “Bud”.
Les Bourgeons du Printemps
(The Blossoms of Spring)
For Full Orchestra
(The Blossoms of Spring) is a musical soundscape depicting the wonder of nature as the blossoms of spring slowly awake to bring us the joy of a new day.click to read more
Awake Oh Blossoms of Spring
The light of the day is upon you
With dancing petals in the wind
You give way to the glory beyond you
The Mountain Watches Over Us
Mountains, by definition, dominate their surroundings with towering height; they command attention. Their majestic presence, long weathered and scarred by the elements, have always awed and inspired man. Anciently, mountains represented the divine. People were drawn to them for protection, guidance, and inspiration.click to read more
John Miller’s career as a Music Educator stretches across the profession and has influenced 100’s of teachers and programs throughout the United States. His sure foundation has encouraged numerous students to contribute positively to society. His faith and devotion have protected and inspired those who have sought comfort and encouragement. John’s influence will most certainly prove to be everlasting just as the majestic mountains around us. Truly he will be the mountain watching over us.
As Summer Passed
For String Orchestra and Piano
As Summer Passed, is a musical recollection of the memories of a summer that has passed by too quickly in one’s life.click to read more
As summer passed
Of things lost
And found again
With spirit and soul
And open heart
Where has it gone
Can it last
Do you know
As summer passed
(Diamond Head Fanfare)
The iconic Diamond Head (Lēʻahi) crater on the Island of Oahu is the one of the most recognized landmarks in Hawaii. The crater was formed more than 100,000 years ago by a single volcanic eruption. Today, Diamond Head is a popular destination for hikers that scale the steep slopes of the monument to reach the summit. From there, the views of Honolulu are stunning. Diamond Head also served as a military installation for artillery units to protect the island during war, and remnants of the installation remain to this day.click to read more
El Silencio Después de la Tormenta
(The Silence After The Storm)
On September 20, 2017 Hurricane Maria hit the island of Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm. The devastation was massive and the death toll has reached over 3,000 people.Click to read more
The piece begins in the silence of the aftermath. There are musical moments of relief and of disbelief as people walk through the streets and fields. These moments lead to a harsh reality of the true devastation of the storm. Following this shocking scene, a hymn-like tune is heard to create inner peace and to calm their despair. A moment of joy and affirmation occurs as the realization of life still abounds in the hearts and souls of the Puerto Rican people. As in the beginning of the piece, this is followed by the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
A short statement of the Puerto Rico national anthem (La Borinqueña) is heard at the end of the piece to indicate that the pride of the Puerto Rican people remains strong and intact even during these trying times.
Published by World Projects – Grade 3 https://www.world-projects.net/product/el-silencio-by-john-alan-carnahan/
To Soar Like An Eagle!
Let Freedom RingClick to read more