Red Light Horizon (big band, grade 3.5-4 OR ten musicians)
$25.00 – $35.00
Run time: 5’+, depending on solos. Two instrumentations available: big band with flute and vibraphone OR ten musicians (SATB saxophones, trumpet, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass, drums).
“As long as you can see those, you’ll always be able to find your way home.” Red Light Horizon is a song of returning, of the joy (however brief) of rejoining those who make you feel most at home.
During the summer of 2016, I was approached to participate in what was at the time a nascent effort to increase the visibility of jazz composers in the local scene. That project later became the Nash Composers’ Coalition, an ensemble of composers of various ages, skill sets, and backgrounds creating new works for jazz ensemble, the instrumentation of which was determined by the group’s personnel at a given time. For its inaugural concert, there were ten of us, providing an opportunity to write for either a very large combo or a very small big band, depending on how you looked at it. As I was looking to broaden my jazz music-making horizons beyond what I was doing at school, I couldn’t wait to get started—and I’d already found my title.
Red Light Horizon, the concept, popped into my mind just weeks before, when I was visiting friends at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan. It was the end of a week of music-making and adventures, and one of my companions was driving us home after an evening of board games and painting. As we drove, he pointed out a group of bright red lights atop power poles in the distance. “They’re for planes, but that’s campus,” he said. “As long as you can see those, you’ll always be able to find your way home.” That stuck with me, and I resolved to write a piece that embodies both the energy of those friends during that week and the joy of finding one’s way home.
Run time: 5’+, depending on solos.
The big band version of Red Light Horizon was commissioned by Julie Bounds for Santa Teresa High School Jazz Band I, an ensemble both my brother and I played in while we were in high school.
Big band version: SATTB saxes, Trumpets 1-4, Trombone 1-4 (inc. bass tbn), guitar, piano, bass, drums, flute, vibraphone. Red Light Horizon big band perusal
Big band version: SATB saxophones (1/1/1/1), trumpet, vibraphone, guitar, piano, bass, and drums. I also have a version for nine musicians (no vibraphone); if you’d like that one, drop me a line using my Contact page. Red Light Horizon 10-musician perusal
Listen to Santa Teresa High School Jazz I give the premiere of the big band version:
Listen to the Nash Composers Coalition giving the world premiere of the original, for ten musicians:
- 5/12/2017: Santa Teresa High School Jazz Band I, The Theatre on San Pedro Square, San Jose, CA (big band version premiere)
- 4/1/2017: Recital Hall, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (9-musician version)
- 12/9/2019: Nash Composers Coalition, the Nash, Phoenix, AZ (10-musician version, world premiere)
A word on my large ensemble policy: I am fully aware that the circumstances of your ensemble’s instrumentation and/or your judges’ requirements for festival score submissions may require you to print additional copies of the scores and/or parts you purchase from me. That’s totally fine! Every time you buy a PDF from me, you also buy the right to make as many copies as your ensemble needs—for this performance and in the future. If you need written permission to possess and use additional copies of a score, shoot me an email (either with your initial order or before your performance) or use my Contact form. I’ll happily write you one!
10 musicians, Big band
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