Symphony No. 8

Symphony No. 82020-08-25T04:35:50+00:00

Project Description

Wind Ensemble
42 min.

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Listen Now

The United States Army Band, “Pershing’s Own”
live recording

The St. Olaf Band, Timothy Mahr, cond.
On the album Inner Visions, The Music of David Maslanka (2009)

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Preview Score


Picc Fl-2 Ob-2 E♭Cl B♭Cl-3 BCl CbCl Bsn-2 Cbsn SSx ASx-2 TSx BSx BassSx | Hn-4 B♭Tpt-3(1»Picc Tpt) Tbn-2 BTbn Euph Tuba DB | Pno Timp Perc-5

  • Piccolo
  • Flute (2)
  • Oboe (2)
  • Clarinet in E♭
  • Clarinet in B♭ (3)
  • Bass Clarinet in B♭
  • Contrabass Clarinet in B♭
  • Bassoon (2)
  • Contrabassoon
  • Soprano Saxophone
  • Alto Saxophone (2)
  • Tenor Saxophone
  • Baritone Saxophone
  • Bass Saxophone
  • Horn in F (4)
  • Trumpet in B♭ (3) (1 dbl Piccolo Trumpet)
  • Trombone (2)
  • Bass Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Double Bass
  • Piano
  • Timpani
  • Required Percussion (5 players)
    • Orchestra Bells (2)
    • Marimba
    • Triangle (1 sm., 2 lg.)
    • Suspended Cymbal (1 sm., 1 med., 5 lg.)
    • Vibraphone
    • Snare Drum (2)
    • Bass Drum (2)
    • Tenor Drum (3)
    • Chimes (2)
    • Xylophone
    • Crotales
    • Tam-tam (2)
    • Crash Cymbals
    • Slap Stick
    • Tom-tom (med.)
    • Bongos
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.


  1. Moderate – Very fast
  2. Moderate
  3. Moderate – Very fast – Moderate – Very fast

Commissioned by

  • Bobby Adams – Stetson University
  • Bruce Ammann – Augustana College
  • John Bell – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Bob Belser – University of Wyoming
  • Cody Birdwell – University of Kentucky
  • Steve Bolstad – James Madison University
  • Andrew Boysen University of New Hampshire
  • John Carmichael – University of South Florida
  • Rick Clary – Florida State University
  • Mitch Fennell – California State University, Fullerton
  • Bobby Francis – Texas Christian University
  • Tom Frascillo – University of Southern Mississippi
  • Larry Gookin – Central Washington University
  • Gary Green – University of Miami
  • Gregg Hanson – University of Arizona
  • Joe Hermann – Tennessee Tech
  • Timothy Holtan – United States Military Academy
  • Ronald Hufstader – University of Texas at El Paso
  • Nipatdh Kanchanahuta – Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • John Locke – University of North Carolina, Greensboro
  • Tim Mahr – St. Olaf
  • Jim Major – Illinois State University College of Fine Arts
  • Andy Mast – Lawrence Conservatory
  • Doug Monroe – Langley Air Force Band
  • Steve Parsons – Illinois State University School of Music
  • Steve Peterson – Ithaca College
  • Nate Rinnert – Mansfield University
  • Dana Rothlisberger – Towson State University
  • Mark Scatterday – Eastman School of Music
  • Martin Seggelke – University of Minnesota, Morris
  • Steve Steele – Illinois State University
  • Tau Beta Sigma – Illinois State University
  • Reed Thomas – Middle Tennessee State University
  • Ken Van Winkle – New Mexico State University
  • Frank Wickes – Louisiana State University
  • Kraig Williams – University of Memphis [/fusion__toggle]

Program Note

Symphony No. 8 is in three distinct movements, bur the musical layout suggests a single large-scale panoramic vista.

I began the composition process for this symphony with meditation, and was shown scenes of widespread devastation. But this music is not about the surface of our world problems. It is a response to a much deeper vital creative flow which is forcefully at work, and which will carry us through our age of crisis. This music is a celebration of life. It is about new life, continuity from the past to the future, great hope, great faith, joy, ecstatic vision, and fierce determination.

The old is continually present in the new. The first movement touches the “Gloria” from my Mass: “Glory to God in the highest,” whatever that may mean to you: the power of the universe made manifest to us and through us.

The second movement is a large fantasia on the old Lutheran chorale melody Jesu meine Freude (Jesus My Joy). The life of Christ is one powerful image of the high creative: being willing to be broken to receive the new; giving oneself up entirely so that a new idea can be born. The old form of the organ chorale prelude underlies this movement – new language out of the old.

The third movement is a music of praise and gratitude for all that is. It can be traced to the very end of the favorite old hymn tune All Creatures of Our God and King – the part with the joyous descending major scale where all the bells ring out. I recently used this tune for a set of variations in a piece called Unending Stream of Life, a name which could also be a fitting subtitle for this new symphony.

Program note by David Maslanka

Further Reading