From the Canyon Edge
Wind Band (Grade 3)
“From the Canyon Edge” was composed in
March 2015 for Amy Emelianoff and the students of Newark Academy.
It is written in a rondo-like form, and primarily contrasts a rough and aggressive theme with one of delicate beauty.
The middle of the piece contains a rugged fanfare with jarring harmonies. These melodies reminded me of the striking beauty, danger,
expansiveness, and stark natural features of Palo Duro Canyon, which I had recently visited.
Pedagogically, this piece aims to familiarize students with three mildly challenging rhythmic ideas which are repeated throughout:
starting passages on offbeats (particularly the “and” of 1), metric displacement (such as in the theme at letter C),
and the passage in the “fanfare” section with two 16th notes followed by a rest (in which students may be tempted to rush the 8th note rest).
Reading Session by the University of Texas Wind Ensemble
conducted by Steven Knight