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David R. Gillingham
concert band (score & parts)
Quantity in Basket: none
Code: 16830
Price: $110.00
Shipping Weight: 2.00 pounds

Grade 5
Duration 9:00

Purchase Score Only


Full Recording

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Flute 1
Flute 2
Oboe 1/2
Bassoon 1/2
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Contralto Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1
Eb Alto Saxophone 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone

Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
F Horn 3
F Horn 4
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Bass Trombone
Baritone T.C.


Timpani (4)
Percussion 1 (Bells, Xylophone)
Percussion 2 (Bells, Crash Cymbals, Temple Blocks)
Percussion 3 (Marimba, Crotales, Xylophone)
Percussion 4 (Slap Stick, Vibraphone, Suspended Cymbal, Chimes)
Percussion 5 (Brake Drum, Tam-Tam)

Abiquiu was inspired by a provocative poem by the same name written by Mesa State College Professor and Colorado poet, L. Luis Lopez.

Take this city-filled
pour it out,
place it in soil
your high desert vista.

Fill it with canyon,
smell of rain
song of bird.

Tint each
with time of day.
let each settle
into a painting of sand.

so that when I’m away
I can
close my eyes
and gaze upon
and breathe your sacred strands.

The ideas set forth by each short stanza of the poem are set somewhat programmatically to music. At the onset of the piece the music suggests the “city-filled soul” with disjunct themes, driving rhythms and harmonic confusion. Envisioning one’s self amidst the rush hour of a big city and the ensuing mental frustration. The section features “calls for help” in the horns and trumpets using large intervals, mostly of 7ths and octaves. One last “call” culminates the section as the “city-filled soul” is finally poured out in the soil beneath the “desert vista”. The pulse of the city can still be heard with the constant heartbeat of the timpani and remnants of the “call” motive in the horns. The music dramatically swells and segues with the next section beginning with a backdrop of keyboard percussion, piano and a fluttering of flutes. Arising from the texture is a theme in Db major, beginning in the horns, evoking the spaciousness of the canyon and the vastness of the open air and sky as so eloquently written in the second stanza of the poem. The theme grows in volume and texture and eventually the entire ensemble is singing the beauty of this picturesque scene and the music modulates to F major and finally to D major and then subsides. A mysterious ostinato in the piano, bells and vibraphone provides backdrop for short phrases of a chorale melody played by the clarinets as if in the distance signifying how each element settles “into a painting of sand”. Soon, however, the busyness and frustration of the “city-filled soul” begin to infiltrate the section until it all returns with all of the fury heard in the beginning of the piece (“so that when I’m away”). But soon, as if closing one’s eyes to the madness, the beauty of the canyon, sky, mesa, mountain, smell of rain and song of bird burst forth out of the texture and the majesty of the spacious “canyon” theme returns (“I can close my eyes and gaze upon and breathe your sacred strands.”). The music “climbs” to the top of the mountain and ends joyously in Eb major. The texture then thins leaving only the piano, bells and vibraphone and decays into a single Bb on the vibraphone, much like the pure voice of a child. Under this sustained voice, the clarinets quote the opening notes of the “canyon” theme, followed by the distant, “sacred strands” of the chorale in the piano and bells. The sequence repeats and the piece ends quietly with the warm sound of the marimba, bells and vibraphone.

With the generous support of Stephen Boelter and Karen Combs, Abiquiu was commissioned by the Mesa State College Wind Symphony, for the 2009 Best of the West Music Festival. During the compositional process, Calvin Hofer, conductor, was informed that Stephen developed a recurrence of melanoma, which was terminal. This was devastating news to the Best of the West family. Through my correspondence with Calvin, I discovered how important Best of the West was to Stephen. His vision was simple: to help provide a rich musical experience for all involved – performer, audience, or music educator. Stephen’s wife, Karen, continues their visionary work with her financial support of Best of the West. To honor Stephen Boelter, Calvin requested that, if possible, I include a small quote in the piece from Stephen’s Alma Mater, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Two phrases from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Alma Mater (adapted from Beethoven, Op. 81b) can be found in the clarinets in measures 93-101 and in measures 153-159 in the piano and orchestra bells. Stephen played clarinet in the Mesa State Wind Symphony.

David Gillingham earned Bachelor and Master Degrees in Instrumental Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and the PhD in Music Theory/Composition from Michigan State University. Dr. Gillingham has an international reputation for the works he has written for band and percussion. Many of these works are now considered standards in the repertoire. His commissioning schedule dates well into the first decade of the 21st century. His numerous awards include the 1981 DeMoulin Award for Concerto for Bass Trombone and Wind Ensemble and the 1990 International Barlow Competition (Brigham Young University) for Heroes, Lost and Fallen. Dr. Gillingham's works have been recorded by Klavier, Sony and Summit and Centaur. His works are regularly performed by nationally recognized ensembles including the Prague Radio Orchestra, Cincinnati Conservatory of Music Wind Ensemble, The University of Georgia Bands, North Texas University Wind Ensemble, Michigan State University Wind Ensemble, Oklahoma State Wind Ensemble, University of Oklahoma Wind Ensemble, Florida State Wind Ensemble, University of Florida (Miami) Wind Ensemble, University of Illinois Symphonic Band, Illinois State Wind Symphony, University of Minnesota Wind Ensemble, Indiana University Wind Ensemble and the University of Wisconsin Wind Ensemble. Also, nationally known artists, Fred Mills (Canadian Brass), Randall Hawes (Detroit Symphony) and Charles Vernon (Chicago Symphony Orchestra) have performed works by Dr. Gillingham. Over sixty of his works for band, choir, percussion, chamber ensembles, and solo instruments are published by C. Alan, Hal Leonard, Southern Music, Music for Percussion, Carl Fischer, MMB, T.U.B.A, I.T.A., and Dorn. Dr. Gillingham is a Professor of Music at Central Michigan University and the recipient of an Excellence in Teaching Award (1990), a Summer Fellowship (1991 a Research Professorship (1995), and the recently, the President?s Research Investment Fund grant for his co-authorship of a proposal to establish an International Center for New Music at Central Michigan University. He is a member of ASCAP and has been receiving the ASCAP Standard Award for Composers of Concert Music since 1996.



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