So Sad a Wonder for Wind Ensemble (2010)


Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, Clarinet in Eb, 3 Clarinets in Bb, Bass Clarinet in Bb, Alto Saxophone in Eb, Tenor Saxophone in Bb, Baritone Saxophone in Eb, 2 Bassoons, Contrabassoon, 3 Trumpets in Bb, 4 Horns in F, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (3 Players), Harp, and Organ.

Premiered by the Syracuse University Wind Ensemble on December 8, 2011 with Brent Paris conducting.


Program Note: 

This piece began its life as an orchestration project, and since then I have expanded it quite a bit and transcribed it for Wind Ensemble. As the piece began to grow and take shape in my mind, I realized with this work I wanted to express the emotions and spiritual qualities of Holy Week, especially Good Friday. This decision inspired the inclusion of the Good Friday hymn, O Darkest Woe — which takes on several guises within the piece, including a full chorale statement. This hymn idea — as well as an original melody and a motive comprised of rotating adjacent seconds — make up the complete fabric of the work, all of which are developed and varied throughout the piece.

During the process of composition my Aunt, Leah Veland, fell ill and to raise her spirits, I decided to dedicate the piece to her. However, before the piece was completed Leah tragically succumbed to her illness after months of battle. I realized that the emotions concerning her sickness and untimely death were in some way in the same spirit as those dealing with Good Friday.

In a sort of savage twist, Leah passed away on Good Friday, April 10, 2009. She will continue to be loved and missed by the friends and family she left behind.