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  • £25.00

    The Sword and the Star

    The Sword and the Star was written in 2006 for the Middleton Band at the request of their Musical Director, Carl Whiteoak. The inspiration for the work was the band's badge, which features a medieval archer. The town of Middeton's historical link with the symbol of the Archer came from the English victory at the Battle of Flodden in September 1513, where bowmen from Middleton and Heywood under the command of Sir Richard Assheton played a vital part in crushing the invading Scottish army. Sir Richard captured one of the Scottish commanders and presented the prisoner's sword to the St Leonard's church in Middleton in recognition of the town's contribution. As long time Lords of the Manor, the Assheton family crest was for centuries featured in the coat of arms of Middleton council, and when Middleton became part of the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale the black star from the Assheton crest was used to represent Middleton in the new borough's coat of arms. Hence the title The Sword and the Star, for a piece which attempts to give an impression of the town as it was then and as it is now.The music is in three short sections – a fanfare, a lament and a bright scherzo – and simply aims to contrast the medieval hamlet of Middleton with the bustling urban centre it has now become. The central lament features a Scottish song called "The Flowers of the Forest", written to mourn the loss of so many of Scotland's young men on the field of Flodden; the song returns in a much more positive form at the end of the piece.To view a PDF preview of the score please click here, and to hear a preview of the opening played by Middleton Band click here.

    Estimated delivery 3-5 days

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  • £34.95

    The Rising - Andrew Ford - -

    To human beings, bush-fires are terrifying and often deadly events. But to the Australian bush, they bring the prospect of regeneration. After the conflagration, comes peace. It is often only a few days after the fire that the first shoots start to appear. Pale green leaves bud on charred branches. Slowly, the Bush renews itself. Over years, even decades, the native vegetation re-establishes itself, the undergrowth becomes thick once more. In effect, of course, the forest is now stockpiling fuel, and if not checked and occasionally cleared, the cycle must continue. The Bush needs fire to survive. These were the images I had in mind when I was composing The Rising. This is what gave me my structure.But, really, the piece might represent any sort of rising - revolutionary or religious, cosmic or simply musical - where a violent event brings peace and then, after a time, too much peace leads to violence. This short work begins with one big bang, then builds inexorably towards another. At the end, it feels as though the piece might begin again (and again (and again)) . . .The Rising was commissioned by the Black Dyke Band and is dedicated to them with respect and great admiration. ? Andrew Ford

    Estimated delivery 3-5 days