compositions | band | towards joy (2018)

Towards Joy (2018)

Medium: Concert Band
Publisher: C. Alan Publications
Composed: 2018
Duration: 6:00
Difficulty: Grade 5

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.) 
String Bass

Timpani (4 drums) & Wind Chimes
Percussion 1 (bells, crotales, xylophone)
Percussion 2 (vibraphone, woodblock)
Percussion 3 (chimes, triangle, suspended cymbal, tambourine, shared vibraphone)
Percussion 4 (snare drum, hi-hat, bongos, China cymbal, pedal bass drum, shared vibraphone)
Percussion 5 (concert bass drum, tam-tam, egg shaker)

Towards Joy was commissioned by the Cedar Ridge High School Wind Ensemble (Hillsborough, NC) and their conductor Josh Cvijanovic to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the school. The pieces draws its inspiration from three short, joyful poems by writer/artist Brian Andreas.

Re-Align With Joy
When do you go from
leaping with no other
thought but how high
you can go & instead slip
into wondering how it's
going to hurt when you land?

Choose Joy
You get a whole world
when you choose joy
& you get only pieces
when you don't
& none of that will make a bit of sense
until that moment you choose joy.

Towards Joy
Trust your instincts
to go towards joy.
(also, trust your instincts
to stay away from people
who tell you your instincts
are wrong).

After a sparkling, celebratory opening, the piece is presented in three sections – each corresponding to one of the three poems. The first section, Choosing Joy, features a soaring melody in the upper woodwinds and trumpet with active undulating figures in the clarinets, saxes, and percussion. This is answered by a lush & & slightly darker theme in the brass, which then moves into the upper woodwinds in a much more uplifting presentation. The second section, Re-aligning With Joy, features the “Joy” theme in a rhythmically disjunct presentation by the clarinets, woodblock, bongos, and bass drum. The flute and saxophone sections have their own moments in the sun with quick, imitative melodies thrown about, which ultimately leads to all of the woodwinds and brass joining forces against the entire percussion section. This finally gives way to the third and final section, Towards Joy, which is characterizes by an exciting, highly-syncopated accompanimental rhythm shared across the ensemble. The soaring “Joy” melody is presented majestically by the upper brass with interjections by the low brass & woodwinds.