compositions | band | shine on! (2017)

Shine On! (2017)

Medium: Concert Band
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Composed: 2017
Duration: 6:30
Difficulty: Grade 4

Flute 1
Flute 2
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Clarinet 3
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
B-flat Trumpet 3
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3
(Baritone T.C.) 

Timpani (4 drums) & Triangle
Percussion 1 (crotales or bells, xylophone)
Percussion 2 (vibraphone, chimes)
Percussion 3 (4 concert toms, suspended cymbal, hi-hat)
Percussion 4 (concert bass drum, tam-tam)

In 1908, the city of Aurora officially adopted the nickname the “City of Lights,” because it was one of the first cities in the United States to implement an all-electric street lighting system in 1881. Coincidentally, the city shares its name with Aurora, Goddess of the Dawn. She was bringer of the early light and was often described as bringing hope & rejuvenation to all living mortal beings as they woke up in the morning, filled with energy and ready to resume their work and journey in life. Her two horses that pulled her chariot across the sky are named in the Odyssey as Firebright and Daybright. This all sets the stage for the multitude of inspirations for the piece.

The title “Shine On!” was adapted from East Aurora High School’s alma mater, “East High Will Shine Tonight.” The lyrics even seem to allude to the sunrise brought on by the goddess Aurora.

East High will shine tonight, East High will shine;
East High will shine tonight, all down the line.
East High will shine tonight, East High will shine;
When the sun goes down and the moon comes up, East High will shine.

If you listen closely, you will hear the melody of the school’s fight song woven into the fabric of the piece throughout. The rest of the thematic material is original. Here is the basic organization of the piece:

m. 1-15            Dawn – Aurora & her horse-drawn chariot pull the sun across the sky.
m. 16-32          Aurora’s theme in its entirety
m. 33-63          Daybright’s playful theme
m. 64-100        Aurora’s theme with hints of Daybright’s theme
m. 101-136      Firebright’s darker, more intense theme, adapted from the fight song melody
m. 137-170      Aurora’s theme with a new countermelody
m. 171-186      Return of Daybright’s theme
m. 187-204      Daybright’s theme fully merges with Aurora’s theme
m. 205-end      Finale