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Rivers of Air


Full Score: $25
Instrumental Parts: $190

Note: This is a digital score (PDF).
Score Size: 11×17″
Parts Size: 8.5×11″

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The Story

“How infinitely superior to our physical senses are those of the mind! The spiritual eye sees not only rivers of water but of air. …imagination gives us the sweet music of tiniest insect wings, enables us to hear, all round the world, the vibration of every needle, the waving of every bole and branch, the sound of stars in circulation like particles in the blood. Indeed, the power of imagination makes us infinite.” - John Muir

As a composer, I often imagine the soundtrack to my surroundings — especially while hiking in the beauty of mountains, forests, lakes, and rivers. The crisp whisper of wind through pine needles, the babbling of a glacial river, and the stoic quietness of old growth trees exude vivid aural colors, always available to the curious listener. But it is the mind’s ear that can take these sounds and scenes and imagine them into stories and symphonies. In “Rivers of Air,” I endeavored to capture the scenery and experience of hiking in Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington while creating my own imagined story. Visions of expansive mountain ranges from thousands of feet in the air, the rushing Nisqually River, and the profound sacredness of old growth trees guided me as I wrote. In an age when humans seem to be continuously separating ourselves from the earth and from each other, Muir’s words remind us to listen deeply to all that is around us; and in that listening, we too can see (and hear) our own rivers of air.

Flute 1, 2, & 3
Oboe 1 & 2
Bassoon 1 & 2
Bb Clarinet 1, 2, & 3
Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1 & 2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet 1, 2, & 3
F Horn 1 & 2 (at least 4 players)
Trombone 1 & 2
Bass Trombone
Percussion 1: Tubular bells, glockenspiel, handbell, marimba, small sus. cym.
Percussion 2: Vibraphone, Mark tree, crash cyms., marimba
Percussion 3: Bass drum, vibraphone
Percussion 4: Small triangle, tam-tam, low tom
Percussion 5: Suspended cymbals (small & medium)






Commissioned by a consortium of 17 university wind ensembles
Arizona State University - Gary W. Hill and Jason Caslor
Baylor University - J. Eric Wilson
Bowling Green State University - Ken Thompson
Cal Poly Pomona University - Rickey Badua
Capital University - Jeff Gershman (consortium lead)
Luther College - Joan DeAlbuquerque & Jack Stamp
Middle Tennessee State University - Reed Thomas
Texas Tech University - Sarah McKoin
The University of Texas at Austin - Jerry Junkin
University of British Columbia - Robert Taylor
University of Colorado Boulder - Donald J. McKinney and Matthew Roeder
University of Michigan - Richard Frey
University of Montana - James Smart
University of Puget Sound - Gerard Morris
The University of Texas at El Paso - Andrew Hunter
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point - Michael Butler
West Chester University - Andy Yozviak


*Featured in Teaching Music through Performance in Band - Volume 12*


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