Toward Sky’s End (2012) – Band Versionfor Wind Ensemble (transcribed from the Orchestral Version by the composer for the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble, 2012) Approximate Duration: 5:30 Premiered on Friday, May 11, 2012 at the Round Rock Independent School District Performing Arts Center by the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble. Price: $125.00 (see Ordering page to purchase additional scores)
“Toward Sky’s End” was composed as an entry in the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s 1st Annual Young Composers Competition where it was selected as a winning entry and premiered on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Mairs. Though originally written for orchestra, it was initially envisioned for wind ensemble but transferred to orchestra for the ASO’s competition. Now, almost two years after the completion of the orchestral version, I have re-written it for its originally intended ensemble (March 2012).
The composition process began with two ostinatos that I came up with while messing around on my keyboard one evening. From the ostinatos, I came up with a main melody and devised detailed plan of how the entire piece would play out. I made it a goal to try to write something that built steadily and had a strong direction from the first note to the last. In writing, I tried to combine emotion and lyricism with moderately fast tempos and exciting moments to try to create something that was captivating and broadly appealing. With all of that in mind, I completed the piece for orchestra on October 31, 2010 (at 3:21 AM).
Once I began the editing process, I realized that I had no title for the piece. People told me to think about what I saw in my mind while I was writing, but there was no theme in my mind and I had difficulty finding an appropriate name. I asked others what they imagined when they heard the piece and strangely, almost unanimously people imagined “soaring through the sky”. Though slow to embrace that idea, with help I titled the piece “Toward Sky’s End” – a title that combined both the recurring image of flying with the sense of direction that I wanted to portray in the writing.
The band adaptation of Toward Sky’s End was premiered on May 11, 2012 by the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble at the Round Rock Independent School District Performing Arts Center.
An video excerpt of the Austin Symphony rehearsing the orchestral version can be heard below. A recording of the band version is posted above: