Commissioned by the Indiana Bandmasters Association for the 2020 Indiana All-State Honor Band
Flute 1 , 2
Oboe 1 , 2
Bassoon 1 , 2
B-flat Clarinet 1 , 2 , 3
B-flat Bass Clarinet
B-flat Contrabass Clarinet
E-flat Alto Saxophone 1 , 2
(1st Alto solo doubles on Sop. Sax)
B-flat Tenor Saxophone
E-flat Baritone Saxophone
B-flat Trumpet 1 , 2 , 3 (straight mutes required)
F Horn 1 , 2 , 3 , 4
Trombone 1 , 2 (straight mutes required)
Timpani (suspended cymbal required)
Dr. Timothy Rhea conducting the Indiana All-State High School Honor Band at Purdue University, Elliott Hall of Music, March 13, 2022.
When James Tewell first approached me about this commission he said IBA wanted a “muscle” piece, a “significant work” that would challenge and push the All-state players. I found this idea very attractive as I had recently completed an athletic challenge that went around Facebook called the “1000 Pushup Challenge.” In this workout, you start by doing 50 pushups a day for 6 days (then a day of rest). The next week you do 100 pushups a day. Then each subsequent week you add another 50 pushups until eventually you do 1000 pushups a day for a week! I will be honest, it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It was also one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. I hit a mental wall about a month in when I was doing 300 pushups a day thinking, “This is just nuts! I'm spent! I'm never going to be able to do 1000 pushups in one day!” But this piece is not just about pushups or muscles. In the end, I was more inspired by how I felt emotionally throughout the process and especially how fulfilled I felt when I finally reached the goal. The music reflects the process of setting goals, working hard to achieve them, receiving support and encouragement from family and friends, and ultimately reaching the goal. As the popular maxim says, “There is no growth in the comfort zone, and there is no comfort in the growth zone.” I hope this composition can remind us of the tremendous progress we each have made individually in life and also help us continue to set and achieve lofty goals. This work was commissioned by the Indiana Bandmasters Association for the 2020 Indiana All-State Honor Band. With gratitude, I dedicate this work to the absurdly talented students in that “Powerhouse” band.
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