Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 61, Works For Younger & Intermediate Ensembles

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web.

It’s the middle of August and that usually means teachers and students are heading back to school in many places around the world. And with the excitement of the new school year comes the anticipation of new music to program! Whether you are a director or a student in a high school/middle school, college, or community symphonic band or wind ensemble, we encourage you to look at some of David’s music that is a little more accessible to younger groups or perhaps ensembles with limited rehearsal time or limited instrumentation. And so this week we feature fantastic performances of three of David’s most cherished works tailored for the young or intermediate wind ensemble: On This Bright Morning, Procession of the Academics, and Illumination.

On This Bright Morning

From David’s Program Note:

On this Bright Morning was written for a consortium of Montana high school bands. The focus group was the second band at Missoula’s Hellgate High School, the thinking being that this second band in a good music program would represent the technical development of the average high school band around the state. The music is bright and engaging, and at the same time quite soulful. It asks players and conductors to commit fully to a very direct and powerful personal feeling. On This Bright Morning acknowledges the struggle, and the feelings of pain and loss in times of transition, but embodies the pure joy of realizing the bigger life. On this bright morning, life is new, life is possible.

Watch below as Brent Harris leads the University of Southern Mississippi Symphonic Winds in an exceptional performance of this work.

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Procession of the Academics

From David’s Program Note:

Procession of the Academics was commissioned by the Illinois State University Office of Advancement, Illinois State University Office of Student Affairs, Illinois State University College of Fine Arts, Illinois State University School of Music, and the Illinois State University Bands honoring the Illinois State University Sesquicentennial Celebration.

Being neither an Illinoisan, nor an official member of the ISU family, I was honored and a bit daunted to be asked to write a new academic processional march for the sesquicentennial celebration of Illinois State University. And so, with trepidation, and with Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance looming large in the rear-view mirror, I offer this small musical work in honor of the students, faculty, administration, and staff of this great university.

Watch below as Ronny Buurink leads Studenten Harmonie Orkest Twente in a rousing rendition of this music.

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From David’s Program Note:

“Illumination” – lighting up, bringing light. I am especially interested in composing music for young people that allows them a vibrant experience of their own creative energy. A powerful experience of this sort stays in the heart and mind as a channel for creative energy, no matter what the life path. Music shared in community brings this vital force to everyone. Illumination is an open and cheerful piece in a quick tempo, with a very direct A-B-A song form.

Watch below as Kevin Sedatole leads the 2019 California All-Northern High School Honor Band in a thrilling performance of this work.

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We would love to hear from you! If you know of any outstanding performances of David Maslanka’s music on the web, please email us at