For Middle School Band
I went to Eastman with Annie Sawamura. While we knew each other ever since she arrived, we really became close our final year there, partly through student teaching, partly through my performance of the Glazunov saxophone concerto, and partly (mostly?) through the Rentet, a quartet performing on ocarinas, recorders, and crumhorns. When Annie got her middle school position, she floated the idea of having me write a piece for her band at some point. Sometime in mid-fall 2017, we were talking on the phone about some more specifics of what might be possible - a 5-6 minute piece suitable for widely varying levels of ability. At first, I was stumped, but then when the conversation had moved elsewhere, the answer came to me - a Renaissance suite!
I fell in love with the music of the Renaissance through Bob Margolis's "Terpsichore", a veritable tour-de-force of orchestration for the modern wind band full of little goodies for every player. While I don't have access to the same palette of tone colors that his freewheeling setting does, this piece shows off every section of the band to full advantage. Each movement is closely based on an original composition by a Renaissance composer: a Basse Dance by the Frenchman Pierre Attaingnant, the keyboard piece "All in a Garden green" by the Englishman William Byrd, and a Galliarde by that selfsame Germanman (....?) Michael Praetorius.