CBDNA - News / Events / Articles - Commissions

Bandanna - Daron Aric Hagen, 1999

The board of CBDNA commissioned Daron Aric Hagen to compose an opera for the 1999 convention to be based on the Shakespeare play, Othello.This work has principle roles, a chorus, two sixty-minute acts, and a wind band accompaniment in the pit. The composer and his chosen librettist, Princeton professor Paul Muldoon, have now completed this exciting project.

The composer has created a seven minute concert overture suitable for grade IV-V bands based on the major themes of the opera. Mark Spede, under the composers supervision, transcribed a suite from the opera entitled Wedding Dances .

Daron, committed to writing operas as his primary composition outlet, has written several operas and the most notable, Shining Brow, has received wide critical acclaim. Much of Daron's music is heavily influenced by Bernstein's music and Shining Brow is dedicated to his memory. Daron had exclusive publishing rights with E.C. Shirmer and their recording label ARSIS. Recently he has moved to Carl Fischer. Shirmer will be happy to assist you with perusal tapes and scores. Also, Daron Aric Hagen has a webpage where you can access more information about this young, talented composer:


Availability: The opera as well as the various extracted instrumental pieces are available through Carl Fischer.

Top of Page

Symphonic Mobile II - Daniel Kessner, 1997

Symphonic Mobile II was commissioned by the Irvine Valley College Wind Symphony Commissioning Consortium, Stephen M. Rochford, Conductor.

Irvine Valley College
Department of Music
5500 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
Fax: 949-451-5775
Email: srochford@ivc.edu

Irvine Valley College is a Community College of around 11,000 students located approximately 45 miles south of Los Angeles.

Members of the Commissioning Consortium:

College Band Directors National Association
The Leblanc Corporation
California Institute of Technology, William Bing, Conductor
California State University, Fresno, Lawrence Sutherland, Conductor
California State University, Los Angeles, Tom Verrier, Conductor
California State University, Northridge, David Whitwell, Conductor
Los Angeles Pierce College, Stephen Piazza, Conductor
Long Beach City College, Gary Scott, Conductor
Orange Coast College, Dana Wheaton, Conductor
Pomona College, Graydon Beeks, Conductor
University of Alberta, Fordyce Pier, Conductor
University of California, Irvine, Alfred Lang, Conductor
University of California, Los Angeles, Thomas Lee, Conductor
University of Texas, Paula Crider, Conductor

World Premiere:

May 14, 1997, Irvine Valley College Wind Symphony, Stephen M. Rochford, Conductor, at California State University, Long Beach


Piccolo, Flute I, II; Oboe; Clarinet I, II, III; Bass Clarinet;
Bassoon; Alto Saxophone I, II; Tenor Saxophone; Baritone Saxophone;
Horn I, II; Trumpet I, II; Trombone; Bass Trombone; Euphonium; Tuba;
Percussion I - Vibraphone, two timpani, suspended cymbal, tom-tom(fairly low);
Percussion II - tubular bells, bass drum, tam-tam

Total duration:

Approximately 11 minutes

About the composer:

Daniel Kessner was born in Los Angeles in 1946. He studied with Henri Lazarof at UCLA, where he received his Ph.D. with Distinction in 1971. He is currently Professor of Music and Coordinator of Composition/Theory at California State University, Northridge, where he has taught and directed the New Music Ensemble since 1970.

Composer's Notes:

The form of the work is somewhat variable. The piece must begin with first part, and end with final part. The remaining three movements may be played in any order. If a shorter performance is desired, one of the three middle movements may be omitted. If an ensemble presents more than one performance of the work, it is suggested that a different arrangement of movements be used each time.

The instrumentation requirements have been kept very modest so that the piece can be performed not only by university and professional wind ensembles, but also by community colleges and advanced high school ensembles.

The score is in concert pitch. Accidentals carry through the measure, but only in the indicated octave. Many additional signs have been included for clarity.

The very last beat of first part, ringing, and aura should be in the tempo of whichever movement is to be performed next, acting as a preparatory beat in the new tempo.

Piccolo is used only in three of the movements. A Flute I part has been included with the Piccolo part for the remaining movements.

In the percussion parts, unless otherwise indicated, pedals and hand-damping should be used to achieve the indicated durations. There are no percussion parts in first part or final part.

Contact the composer:
Daniel Kessner
Music Department
CSU Northridge
Northridge, CA 91330-8314

office phone: 818-677-3179
dept. phone: 818-677-3184
dept. fax: 818-677-3164

email: dkessner@csun.edu

Availability: SYMPHONIC MOBILE II is available through Theodore Front Musical Literature at:

Theodore Front Musical Literature
16122 Cohasset St.
Van Nuys, CA 91406

Tel: 818-994-1902
Fax: 818-994-0419

Top of Page

Olympic Dances - John Harbison, 1997

Olympic Dances was commissioned by CBDNA, the University of North Texas, and a consortium of other schools. It was premiered by the University of North Texas Wind Symphony with the Pilobus Dance Theatre at the 1997 CBDNA National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. Composer John Harbison provides these notes:

"When the College Band Directors asked me to do a piece for dancers and winds, it immediately suggested something classical, not our musical eighteenth century, but an imaginative vision of ancient worlds. The clear, un-upholstered timbres of the winds-not colored by the throbbing emotive vibratos of our modern string players--playing in small, unconventional chamber subgroups, constituted my first musical images. Along with these, I thought of an imagined harmony between dance, sport, and sound that we can intuit from serene oranges and blacks on Greek vases, the celebration of bodies in motion that we see in the matchless sculpture of ancient times, and perhaps most important to this piece, the celebration of the ideal tableau, the moment frozen in time, that is present still in the friezes that adorn the temples, and in the architecture of the temples themselves. Apollo rules over such images, but in the realm of the dance, always present, him nemesis and alter ego, Dionysius."

Availability: Rental- G. Schirmer

Top of Page

Palace Rhapsody Op. 72 - Aulis Sallinen, 1997

Commissioned jointly by the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester UK, (with funds provided by the Foundation for Sport and the Arts) and the College Band Directors National Association.

The world premiere was given at the Cheltenham International Festival 6th July 1997 by the RNCM Wind Orchestra, conducted by Timothy Reynish.

Sallinen has viewed this work in the vein of the Harmonie arrangements of 18th Century opera and has based the piece on his very successful opera The Palace, deriving the composition from some of the main themes. The Palace was premiered at the Savolinna Festival in Finland and received its premiere in the original English version at the New York City Opera in 1998. The opera is a satire with dark undertones on the subject of authoritarian power - the libretto draws on two different sources, borrowing characters from Mozart's opera Die Entfuhrung aus dem Serail and ideas from Kapuscinski's novel The Emperor, which observes the fall of Haille Selassie, last Emperor of Ethiopia. While the score includes many of Sallinen's most infectious melodies, the undertones are ominous as the occupants of The Palace transfer power from one dictator to an equally totalitarian authority. The music of the Rhapsody deliberately reflects the black comedy of the opera - exaggerated contrasts of style mirror the dramatic shifts of mood, from bustling matter-of-factness to dark, bleak drama via jazzy episodes of comic burlesque.

The work is scored for orchestral wind, brass and percussion with one additional saxophone and piano.

Availability: Novello/Music Sales

Top of Page

Diferencias - Roberto Sierra, 1996

(no text available)

Availability: Purchase-Subito Music

Top of Page

Symphony A.D. 78 - Gordon Jacob, 1995

"Symphony AD78" was written in 1978 as a commission from Arthur Doyle (hence the "AD" in the title, a typical piece of Jacob wit). It has lain virtually unplayed save the efforts of his Estate, Troy Peterson and Geoffrey Brand, who between them have succeeded in rescuing it. With the combined efforts of CBDNA and R. Smith & Co. Limited, the published edition is now available.

Availability: Purchase-G & M Brand

Top of Page

Songfest - Leonard Bernstein, ed. Ken Amis, 1995

(no text available)

Availability: Owned by Boosey & Hawkes-not published at this time. Can be borrowed from Kenneth Amis, 26 Allston St. #7, Allston, MA 02134-2483. Telephone and Fax (617) 783-8830, e-mail amiscircle@aol.com.

Top of Page

Duae Cantatae Breves - Sidney Hodkinson, 1994

(no text available)

Availability: Rental-Presser Inc.

Top of Page

In Evenings Stillness - Joseph Schwantner, 1994

In Evenings Stillness was commissioned by the Illinois College Band Director's Association. The composer writes:

"the piece is the third of three works that I have written for winds, bras, percussion and piano, all of which are available throught Klavier Wind Recording Project. It forms the middle movement of a trilogy of pieces that includes, znd the mountains rising nowhere and From a Dark Millennium. In all three works, the piano is responsible for presenting the primary melodic, gestural, harmonic, and sonoric elements that unfold in the music. While each work is self contained, I always envisioned the possibility that they could be combined to form a larger and more expansive three movement formal design."

Availability: Purchase-EAM

Top of Page

Tears - David Maslanka, 1994

Tears was commissioned by the Wisconsin Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association. The composer has written the following concerning the work:

"Tears comes from my reading of the novel Monnew by the African writer Ahmadou Kourouma. His story tells of the dissolution of a traditional African culture as Europeans over-ran it. The native people were made to endure the "monnew" --the insults, outrages, trials, contempts, and humiliations -- of colonialism. A chapter heading in Kourouma's book reads "our tears will not be abundant enough to make a river, nor our cries of pain sharp enough to extinguish fires." This is the external motivation for the piece, but I don't know anyone in Africa directly. I have come to understand that fascination with something in the external world means that a thing deep inside has been touched. So the piece is about something in me. It gives me advance nonverbal messages about things I don't understand yet -- movements of my conscious that are working their way toward the light. Tears, finally, is about inner transformation, and about groping toward the voice of praise; Tears is about the movement toward the heart of love. My dear friend Richard Beale has captured these thoughts in a brief and powerful poem:

Unless tears come
to wash my eyes
I will not see again.
Unless I lift up my arms
in gratitude for pain
they will lack the strength
to harvest daffodils."
(from Silence and the Gift,
by Richard Beale, St. Andrew's Press)

Availability: Purchase-Score/Rental-Parts

Top of Page

Tre Moderne for Piano and Chamber Orchestra - Paul Reller, 1993

(no text available)

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Voyage - Bernard Heiden, 1991

Voyage is organized in five movements, with the outer movements for tutti band, and the inner three movements for smaller instrumental combinations. The first movement, molto moderato, presents the thematic material that binds the piece together. The second movement is for woodwinds (minus saxophones), horns, string bass and percussion. It is marked allegro vivace and is reminiscent of the writing of Heiden's principal teacher, Paul Hindemith. The third movement, andante con moto, features a saxophone quartet, horns, string bass, brass and timpani. The fourth movement, marked allegro, finds a return to a larger group, and is in a light, dance style. The final movement is reminiscent of the first, and the piece ends fading away.

Voyage is the first work written for the wind band medium by Bernhard Heiden, long-time faculty member of the Indiana University School of Music. It was a result of a joint commission by the Indiana University Band Department and the CBDNA. The piece was composed in the summer of 1991 in Mykonos, Greece, and was premiered on February 25, 1992 by the Indiana University Wind Ensemble, Ray E. Cramer, conducting.

Availability: Rental through MMB

Top of Page

Colors and Contours - Leslie Bassett, 1985

Premiered March 2, 1985 in Boulder, Colorado, at the 23rd National CBDNA Conference by the McNeese State University Band conducted by David Waybright. Project Chairman was Robert Halseth.

Availability: Purchase-Score/Rental-Parts-Peters, Inc.

Top of Page

Cobidinaas - Ivar Lunde, Jr., 1983

Premiered March 18th, 1983, in Atlanta, Georgia at the 22nd National CBDNA Conference by the Western Michigan University Band conducted by Richard Suddendorf. Project chairman was Donald Hunsberger.

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Good Night To The Old Gods - J.S. Balentine, 1983

Premiered March 18th, 1983, in Atlanta, Georgia at the 22nd National CBDNA Conference by the California State University Long Beach Band conducted by Larry Curtis. Project chairman was Donald Hunsberger.

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Sinfonia Concertante - David Snow, 1983

Premiered March 17th, 1983, in Atlanta, Georgia at the 22nd National CBDNA Conference by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wind Ensemble conducted by Thomas Dvorak. Project chairman was Donald Hunsberger.

During the classical period, the term "sinfonia concertante" applied to a class of compositions scored for a group of soloists with orchestra. In this modern incarnation, the concertino consists of horn, piano, and three percussionists. That group functions as an autonomous ensemble that continually draws upon the wind ensemble to create a chamber group of ever-changing dimensions. The work progresses through its three movements from an initially high degree of rhythmic and melodic fragmentation towards the ultimate cohesion and integration of its instrumental forces at the conclusion.

Availability: Purchase: Vineyard Haven Music

Top of Page

Consorts - Mario Davidowsky, 1981

Premiered February 12, 1981 in Ann Arbor, Michigan at the 21st National CBDNA Conference by the University of Northern Colorado Wind Ensemble conducted by Eugene Corporon. Project Chairman was H. Robert Reynolds.

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Dream Sequence - Ernst Krenek, 1977

Dream Sequence was premiered on March 11, 1977 in College Park, Maryland at the 19th National CBDNA Conference by Baylor Wind Ensemble conducted by the composer. Chairman of the project was H. Robert Reynolds. The following notes were provided from the composer:

The title Dream Sequence hints at the imagery that may loosely be associated with the music. It does not mean that the music describes any particular dreams or narrates any story. "Nightmare" and "Pleasant Dreams" (movements I and II) indicate the general character of the first two movements. "Puzzle" (3rd movement) is a strictly constructed serial piece (perhaps more the result of a sleepless night than of any dream....). The five sections of the piece are subdivided into five segments each. Every segment has a different, characteristic ending. These endings are the same in each section, but they change their order of succession according to the pattern 1 2 3 4 5, 5 4 1 2 3, 4 3 1 5 2, and 2 4 5 3 1, similar to the Sestina pattern of medieval poetry. Each segment consists of two statements of a twelve-tone row, that is 24 tones plus the repetition of the first tone, which at the same time is the first of the row-form used in the following segment. The last movement is evocative of the sentiments that accompany the familiar "Dream About Flying."

Availability: Purchase-EAM

Top of Page

Scorpio - David Ward-Steinman, 1976

Scorpio was commisisoned by the Western Diivision of CBDNA. It received it's premiere April 10, 1976, in Tucson, Arizona, at the Western Division Conference. The San Diego State University Wind Ensemble performed the premiere with conductor Charles Yates who also served as chairman of the project.

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Laude - Howard Hanson, 1975

Premiered February 7, 1975 in Berkeley, California, at the 18th National CBDNA Conference by the California State University Long Beach Band conducted by Larry Curtis. Project chairman was Frank Bencriscutto.

Notes by Howard Hanson:

As one comes toward the end of a long life one realizes how many of the influences go back to early childhood. In my musical and religious life the greatest was, undoubtedly, the chorales which I heard as a young boy growing up in Wahoo, Nebraska.

Much of this influence was sub-conscious, but it is interesting that my first work for band was a composition entitled "Chorale and Alleluia," which many of you have performed. The chorale form has also permeated my third, fourth, and fifth symphonies.

My two most recent compositions for wind ensemble have actually been based on chorale tunes which I remembered from my childhood, the "Dies Natilis", based on a famous Christmas chorale, and the "Laude", based on a chorale of praise to the Lord, which is having its first performance today.

In setting this Chorale which I remember only by the Swedish words which might be translated, "All the world praises the Lord," I took my cue from the 150th Psalm of which I had made this paraphrase:

"Praise Him with the sound of the Trumpet, With Psaltery and harp, With timbrel and dance, With string instruments and organs, Praise Him upon the loud cymbals, the high-sounding cymbals, Let everything that has breath praise the Lord."

The composition begins with the chorale theme in unison with the simple accompaniment of percussion and short fanfares.

It is followed by seven variations in varying moods and tempi until variation 7 when the chorale melody appears, not in the conventional harmonization, but in the ancient Lydian mode, praising the Lord, as the Psalmist sings, with loud sounding cymbals, with high sounding-cymbals, with timpani, drums, bells, working up a crescendo which becomes, I hope, a veritable avalanche of sound, the percussion innundating the hall with the sound and, literally, "everything that has breath praising the Lord."

Suddenly out of this mass of sound appears a simple melody associated with my third symphony and memories of my childhood--and, in some subtle way, which I do not myself understand, with the ancient chorale itself.

Above its final cadence is superimposed the serene beauty of the Lutheran Chorale, which than moves to its final climax.

Availability: Purchase-Carl Fischer

Top of Page

Transitions - Henk Badings, 1973

Premiered January 13, 1973 at the 17th National CBDNA Conference in Champaign, Illinois by the University of Illinois Band conducted by Harry Begian. Project chairman was William Schaefer.

The following is a description of Transitions by the composer:

Vague musical shapes arise from the silence, mobile in the higher pitches, slow and dark in the lower regions. They develop to a higher grade of organization, in the lower parts to a rather grim character and in the higher parts to a shining, twinkling sound. As a consequence there is always a dramatic tension between two contrasting sound-worlds. Later a milder musical world becomes audible through the vehement sounds of the former, and their lyric shapes remain after the grim accents break off. Still later the mild melodic soundshapes are again interrupted by a new violent outburst. This material evolves into a less aggressive shape and finally into a bright, playful, pleasant tone.

Availability: Shawnee

Top of Page

Wind Sculptures - Daniel Kessner, 1973

Wind Sculptures was commissioned by the Western Division of CBDNA. It was premiered on Februaru 15, 1974, in Los Altos Hills, California, at the combined conference of the Western and Northwest divisions of CBDNA. It was performed by the University of the Pacific Wind Ensemble conducted by the composer. Project chairman was Ronald Johnson.

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Emblems - Aaron Copland, 1964

Premiered December 18, 1943, at the 13th national CBDNA Conference in Tempe, Arizona by the USC Band conducted by William Schaefer, also the chair of the commissioning project.

Aaron Copland made these comments:

The work is in triparite form: slow-fast-slow, with the return of the first part varied. Embedded in the quiet, slow music, the listener may hear a brief quotation of a well-known hymn tune, "Amazing Grace," published by William Walker in The Southern Harmony in 1835. Curiously enough, the accompanying harmonies had been conceived first, without reference to any tune. It was only a chance perusal of a recent anthology of old Music in America that made me realize a connection between my harmonies and the old hymn tune. An emblem stands for something-it is a symbol. I called the work Emblems because it seemed to me to suggest musical states of being: noble or aspirational feelings, playful or spirited feelings. The exact nature of these emblematic sounds must be determined for himself by each listener.

Availability: Purchase-Boosey & Hawkes

Top of Page

Three Comments on War - Jan Meyerowitz, 1964

Three Comments on War was commissioned by the Southern Division of CBDNA and the Ostwald Foundation. It was premiered without one movement on December 18, 1964, at the 13th National CBDNA Conference in Tempe, Arizona, by the University of New Mexico Concert Band conducted by William Rhoads.

Notes from the composer:

The melody that serves as "Chorale"of the first movement, an anonymous secular French ballad of antiquity, is the folksong, "Jean Renaud" that tells the story of a mortally wounded king who comes home to die. His mother makes desparate efforts to hide the tragic event from his queen who has just given birth to a son. The efforts are unsuccessful and the queen, in order to remain forever with Renaud, asks the earth to split open and to "swallow" her. The song is the cantus firmus of the beginning and the end of the Chorale Prelude. The middle portion is a plaintive cantabile crescendo evolved from the voices that support the cantus firmus in the opening section.

The second movement, Battle Music, has a program idea that is traditional enough. Examples of battle music are found in Renaissance and Baroque music. Their tone is heroic and somewhat humorous and the same appeal can be found in their late echo, Beethoven's Wellington's Victory. Modern war has certainly not eliminated the heroic aspect of battle, but its castastrophic grimness is quite unrelieved. The present Battle Music wants to be a reflection of this. It is written in sonata form with the minor very noticeable irregularity that the two principle themes are "conjured up" by preparatory passages, and not stated directly. The first theme represents the battle events, the second is an anticipation of one of the songs of mourning of the finale.

The third movement, Epitaph, is a memorial piece for a soldier. The principal songlike theme, appearing in three sections of the piece, forms a five-point rondo with two other songlike episodes. A short quotation of "Jean Renaud" leads into a violent, ominous final fanfare.

Availability: Unknown

Top of Page

Sinfonietta for Concert Band - Ingolf Dahl, 1961

Sinfonietta for Concert Band was commissioned jointly by the Western and Northwestern Divisions of CBDNA. It was premiered in January of 1961 in Los Angeles, California by the University of Southern California Band conducted by the composer. The project was lead by co-chairs William Schaefer and Robert Vagner.

In discussing the initial idea of the Sinfonietta, Dahl related the following information:

"First of all, I wanted it to be a piece that was full of size, a long piece, a substantial piece--a piece that, without apologies for its medium, would take its place alonside symphonic works of any other kind. But in addition, I hoped to make it a "light" piece. Something in the Serenade style, serenade "tone," and perhaps even form."

"Arthur Honneger once was commissioned to write an oratorio (King David) for chorus and an ill-assorted group of wind instruments. He asked Stravinsky, "What should I do? I have never before heard of this odd combination of winds." Stravinsky replied, "That is very simple. You must approach this task as if it had always been your greatest wish to write for these instruments, and as if a work for just such a group were the same one that you had wanted to write all of your life." This is good advice and I tried to follow it. Only in my case it was not only before but after the work was done and the Sinfonietta was finished that it turned out to be indeed the piece that I had wanted to write all my life."

What emerged in the Sinfonietta is a composition which has been called one of the most important symphonic works of the twentieth century, regardless of the medium. In the introductory note for the Sinfonietta, Ingolf Dahl writes:

"The form of this Sinfonietta is akin to an arch or to the span of a large bridge: the sections of the first movement correspond, in reverse order and even in some details, to the section of the last. For example, the opening fanfares of the back-stage trumpets are balanced by those at the close of the work; the thematic material that ends th first movement is itself shaped like an arch: it begins with an unaccompanied line in the clarinets and ends with a corresponding solo in the alto clarinet. The center of the middle movement, which is the center of the whole work--a gavotte-like section, and the lightest music of the entire Sinfonietta--is the "keystone of the arch"

The tonal idiom of the work grows out of the acoustical properties of the symphonic band: a wealth of overtones. This I feel that bands call for music with more open and consonant intervals than would a string ensemble or a piano. The Sinfonietta is tonal, and centered around A-flat major. At the same time, however, its corner movements are based on a series of six tones (A-flat, E-flat, C, G, D, A) which, through various manipulations, provide most of the work's harmonic and melodic ingredients and patterns. The six tones were chosen to permit all kinds of triadic formations. Furthermore, their inversion at th interval of the major sixth yields a second six-tone set which comprises the remaining six tones of a complete twelve-tone row."

Dahl made slight revisions to the score in 1964, and the final version was performed at the 13th National Conference of the CBDNA in Tempe, Arizona, on December 18th of that year, with the composer conducting.

Availability: Purchase-Tetra Music

Top of Page

Further questions regarding availability may be directed to:
Jim Cochran - Shattinger Music

Home About CBDNA News/Events/Articles Teaching Music Connecting with Audiences Ideas Resources Discussion Threads Member Services Related links Contact Us