Illumination

Illumination2019-04-15T22:29:51+00:00

Project Description

Wind Ensemble
2013
5 min.
Grade 3.5

Buy Score and Parts

 

Listen Now

Franklin High School Band, Nicole Wright, cond.
premiere performance, live recording

Lakeland College Concert Band (Sheboygan, Wisconsin), Christopher Werner, cond.
live recording, 19 November, 2014

Preview Score

Instrumentation

Picc Fl-2 Ob-2 BbCl-3 BCl Bsn ASx-2 TSx BSx | Hn-2 Tpt-3 Tbn-2 Tuba | Pno Timp Perc-5

  • Piccolo
  • Flute (2)
  • Oboe (2)
  • Clarinet in B♭ (3)
  • Bass Clarinet in B♭
  • Bassoon
  • Alto Saxophone (2)
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Horn in F (2)
  • Trumpet in B♭ (3)
  • Trombone (2)
  • Tuba
  • Piano
  • Timpani
  • Required Percussion (5 players)
    • Vibraphone
    • Marimba
    • Suspended Cymbal (lg) 
    • Xylophone
    • Chimes
    • Bass Drum
    • Snare Drum
    • Tenor Drum
    • Orchestra Bells
    • Wood Block (lg)
For wind ensembles and concertos, please use one player per part. For symphonies and concert pieces, more players may be used as desired. David’s full statement.

Difficulty Level

Appropriate for most high school ensembles (Grade 3½) 

The introduction (mm. 1–10), marked ♩= 80, establishes a powerful mood for the main body of the work. The introduction employs the full resources of the ensemble with most marked with a fully-articulated fortissimo.

Section 1 (mm. 11-62), marked ♩= 160, is highly energized. It has relentlessly-driving eighth notes providing forward momentum, contrasted by more sustained lines. All ensemble members will have responsibility for both the pulsing eighth note and the sustained lines.

Section 2 (mm. 63–107) offers a mood change, though at the same tempo. This section begins in a soft, reflective state. It is characterized by a slow melody in half and whole notes in the woodwinds layered over rhythmic eighth notes in the piano. The quarter notes in the mallets support the motor in the piano. The second half of this section (starting at m. 86) follows a gradual crescendo, adds the full ensemble, and presents a full-bodied restatement of the earlier woodwind presentation, descending in tessitura and dynamically away from the apex (m. 96), returning to the reflective mood.

Section 3 (mm. 108–162) returns to the earlier energized music after reestablishing the pulsating eighth notes. Material from the second section comes back at measure 146, this time full with firm articulation.

A short coda (mm. 163–181) finishes the piece in full voice with full instrumentation.

 

Commission

Illumination: Overture for Band was composed for the Franklin, Massachusetts public schools. The commission was started by Nicole Wright, band director at the Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin, when she discovered that my grandnephew was in her band. The piece was initially to have been for her young players, but the idea grew to make it the center of the dedication concert at the opening of Franklin’s new high school building. Rehearsals of Illumination were actually the first musical sounds made in their fine new auditorium.

Errata

103: Cl 3 Eb, not E (transposed)

Description

Illumination is an energetic and joyous piece, written at a roughly 3+ grade level. Instrumentation is complete, but certain parts, such as oboe, bassoon, and horn are not exposed. I have graded the parts so that first are more demanding, and seconds and thirds successively easier. Illumination – light rising – coming to consciousness: performing music offers the possibility of immediate awakening, and this piece has both high good nature and a sharp wake-up quality.

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. 

Program note by David Maslanka

Further Reading

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 75, New Performances of Chamber Music

26 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of chamber works (or works written with chamber music contained therein): Quintet for Winds No. 4, "Inward" from Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, and David’s transcription of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations for Saxophone Quartet.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 74, Time

19 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s works that contemplate the enigma of time: “At This Time” from Songs for the Coming Day, Symphony No. 10: The River of Time, and "A Song for the End of Time" from Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 72, Life

5 November 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions that focus on the spirit of life and living: Unending Stream of Life, Traveler, and “Movement 4” from A Child's Garden of Dreams.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 71, Slow Movements

29 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions (of which there are literally dozens to choose from) that highlight some of his most beautiful writing in slower tempi: "Movement I" from Recitation Book, "Slow" from Symphony No. 7, and "Slow" from Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 70, Evening

22 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions that traverse the evening landscape: "Evening Song" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, Evening Song for Horn and Piano, and "Our Prayer of Thanks" from A Carl Sandburg Reader.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 69, Dream Space

15 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions (of which there are literally dozens to choose from) that explore a vast array of dream space: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Traveler, and California.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 68, More New Performances of Saxophone Music

8 October 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of some of David’s best saxophone music: Songs for the Coming DayConcerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, and David's transcription of J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations for Saxophone Quartet.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 62, Memories

27 August 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David's compositions that seem to focus on the memory of something or someone through the passage of time: Traveler, Beloved, and "In Loving Memory" from Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 59, Music For David

5 August 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three works by composers who have dedicated music to David and his memory: "After Maslanka" from Tribute Trio by Russell Peterson, Funeral Song for David Maslanka by Andrew Bockman, and Montis - Tribute to David Maslanka by Elliott Sorenson.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 57, Morning

22 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David's works that celebrate or look to the joy of morning: "When I cannot love I wait for morning" from Songs for the Coming Day, On This Bright Morning, and Morning Star.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 56, New Performances of Saxophone Quartet Music

15 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three new performances of saxophone quartet music: "Fanfare/Variations on Durch Adams Fall” from Recitation Book, "Inwardly" and "Dramatic" from Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Wind Ensemble, and "The soul is here for its own joy" from Songs for the Coming Day.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 55, Alison

8 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week we celebrate the life of Alison Matthews by featuring three of David's works that have a movement dedicated to her: "Alison" from Symphony No. 10, "Song for Alison" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba, and "For Pretty Alison" from My Lady White.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 54, Walking

1 July 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week we feature three of David’s works that reference his practice of walking: Song: "Fire in the Earth" from Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Wind Ensemble, "Solvitur Ambulando" from Song Book for Flute and Wind Ensemble, and Rollo Takes a Walk.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 53, Wounds

24 June 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week we feature three of David's works that specifically refer to "wounds" of some kind: First Light, "Chorale - O Sacred Head Now Wounded" from Hosannas, and "Unforgettable Wounds" from David's Book.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 51, Peace

10 June 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature performances of three of David’s works inspired specifically to help us as listeners and performers around the world create peace in our communities: Peace, Angel of Mercy, and Hymn for World Peace.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 48, Water Music

20 May 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we continue to look at more of David's music that uses water as a symbol or motif: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Sea Dreams: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble, and UFO Dreams: Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Ensemble, Movement II - "The Water is Wide."

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 47, Rivers

13 May 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three of David’s compositions that make reference to a river: Symphony No. 9, Movement I, "Shall We Gather at the River," Symphony No. 2, Movement II, "Deep River," and Symphony No. 10: The River of Time, Movement II, "Mother and Boy Watching The River of Time."

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 44, Songs Without Words

23 April 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three beautiful examples of David's "Songs Without Words," of which there are literally dozens to choose from: "Awakening" from Songs for the Coming Day, Evening Song, and "Lost" from Song Book for Alto Saxophone and Marimba.

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 39, Dreams & Meditations

18 March 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we feature three compositions that specifically mention "dreaming" or "meditation" in their title: A Child's Garden of Dreams, Movement I, Sea Dreams: Concerto for Two Horns and Wind Ensemble, Movement III, and Recitation Book, Movement I, "Broken Heart: Meditation on the chorale melody Der du bist drei in einigkeit."

Maslanka Weekly: Best of the Web – No. 35, David Maslanka – The Composition Teacher

18 February 2019|0 Comments

Maslanka Weekly highlights excellent performances of David Maslanka’s music from around the web. This week, we take a look at three of the many pupils David worked with over the years as well as one of their compositions: Symphony No. 3, "For David" by Kimberly K. Archer, This is Our Joyful Hour by Kevin Krumenauer, and Heroes from the Sea by Onsby C. Rose.