Perthshire Majesty: A Scottish Ballad for Wind Band
Perthshire Majesty is a beautiful and lyrical piece composed by Samuel R. Hazo for concert band. It was inspired by the scenic landscape of County Perthshire, Scotland, and the musical heritage of David Gregory, the conductor who led the premiere. The piece won the 2003 NBA William Revelli Composition Award, a prestigious honor for wind band composers.
The piece begins with a haunting soprano saxophone solo, accompanied by a soft drone of low brass and woodwinds. The solo melody is based on a pentatonic scale, which gives it a Celtic flavor. The soloist is joined by a flute and an oboe, creating a delicate trio that evokes the image of a misty morning in the Scottish countryside.
The melody then passes to the clarinets and horns, who play it with more intensity and volume. The percussion section adds some rhythmic drive and color, while the low brass and woodwinds provide a rich harmonic foundation. The music builds up to a climactic point, where the entire band plays the melody in unison, with a powerful brass fanfare in the background.
The piece then transitions to a slower and more expressive section, where the melody is played by the euphonium and trombone soloists. The accompaniment is sparse and gentle, with some subtle counterpoint from the flutes and clarinets. The soloists play with emotion and nuance, conveying a sense of longing and nostalgia.
The music gradually becomes more animated and lively, as the saxophones and trumpets join the soloists. The tempo increases and the dynamics grow louder, leading to a joyful and triumphant reprise of the main melody by the full band. The piece ends with a flourish of woodwinds and percussion, followed by a final chord that resonates in the air.
Perthshire Majesty: The Composer and the Conductor
Samuel R. Hazo is a renowned composer and educator who has written over 200 works for wind band, orchestra, choir, and chamber ensembles. He is the founder and director of the Wind Ensemble Residencies program, which provides professional development for band directors and composers. He has also served as a guest conductor and clinician for numerous honor bands and festivals around the world.
David Gregory is a distinguished band director and music educator who has taught at various levels from elementary to college. He is currently the director of bands at Carmel High School in Indiana, where he leads a nationally recognized band program that has won several awards and honors. He is also an active adjudicator and clinician for band events across the country.
Hazo and Gregory met at a band clinic in 2001, where they discovered their mutual connection to Scotland. Hazo's ancestors were from Perthshire, while Gregory's wife was born there. They decided to collaborate on a piece that would celebrate their Scottish heritage and honor Gregory's wife, who had passed away from cancer. The result was Perthshire Majesty, which was premiered by the Carmel High School Wind Symphony in 2003.
Perthshire Majesty: The Musical Elements
Perthshire Majesty is a four-minute piece that showcases the expressive and technical abilities of the concert band. It is written in a ternary form (ABA), with a contrasting middle section that features two soloists. The piece uses a variety of musical elements to create a vivid and emotional portrait of Scotland.
The piece uses a modal tonality, which means that it does not follow the conventional major or minor scales, but rather uses different modes or patterns of notes that have their own characteristic sound. The piece mainly uses the Dorian mode, which has a minor third but a major sixth degree, giving it a melancholic but hopeful quality. The piece also uses some chromaticism, which means that it uses notes that are not part of the mode or scale, creating some tension and color.
The piece uses a simple but effective harmonic progression, which means that it uses different chords or combinations of notes that support the melody and create a sense of direction and movement. The piece mainly uses chords built on the first, fourth, and fifth degrees of the mode or scale, which are called the tonic, subdominant, and dominant chords respectively. These chords are very common and stable in Western music, creating a sense of familiarity and resolution. The piece also uses some chords built on other degrees of the mode or scale, such as the second, third, sixth, and seventh degrees, which are called the supertonic, mediant, submediant, and leading tone chords respectively. These chords are less common and more unstable in Western music, creating a sense of variety and contrast.
The piece uses a rhythmic motif, which means that it uses a short pattern of notes or beats that is repeated or varied throughout the piece. The rhythmic motif consists of two eighth notes followed by two sixteenth notes, creating a syncopated or off-beat feel. The rhythmic motif is introduced by the percussion section in the beginning of the piece, and is then used by various instruments in different ways throughout the piece.
Perthshire Majesty: The Performance and the Reception
Perthshire Majesty was first performed by the Carmel High School Wind Symphony, under the direction of David Gregory, at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago in December 2003. The performance was dedicated to the memory of Gregory's wife, Susan, who had passed away from cancer earlier that year. The piece received a standing ovation from the audience and the critics, who praised its beauty and emotion.
Since then, Perthshire Majesty has been performed by many bands and ensembles around the world, including the United States Army Band, the United States Air Force Band, the Dallas Wind Symphony, and the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra. The piece has also been featured in several festivals and contests, such as the National Band Association Convention, the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and the Indiana State School Music Association Festival. The piece has also been recorded by several groups, such as the North Texas Wind Symphony and the Keystone Wind Ensemble.
Perthshire Majesty is widely regarded as one of Hazo's most popular and successful works, as well as one of the most beautiful and lyrical pieces for wind band. The piece has received many accolades and awards, such as the 2003 NBA William Revelli Composition Award, the 2004 Sudler Composition Award Honorable Mention, and the 2005 Texas Bandmasters Association Feature Composition Award. The piece has also been praised by many composers and conductors, such as Frank Ticheli, Alfred Reed, James Barnes, and Robert W. Smith.
Perthshire Majesty: The Score and the Parts
Perthshire Majesty is scored for a standard concert band instrumentation, with some additional instruments such as a soprano saxophone, a euphonium, a timpani, and a glockenspiel. The piece is written in a concert pitch of D major (or D dorian), with a time signature of 4/4 (or common time). The piece has a tempo marking of quarter note equals 72 beats per minute (or moderato), with some changes throughout the piece.
The score and the parts for Perthshire Majesty are available for purchase from various online and offline retailers, such as J.W. Pepper Sheet Music and Sheet Music Plus. The score and the parts are published by Boosey & Hawkes, a leading music publisher that specializes in classical music and educational music. The score and the parts are printed on high-quality paper and have clear and easy-to-read notation.
The score and the parts for Perthshire Majesty are also available for download in PDF format from various online sources, such as Scribd and Sheet Music Direct. The PDF files are compatible with most devices and software applications that can read PDF files. The PDF files have high-resolution images and accurate notation. d282676c82