Update on Volume 2 of Band Orchestration

I thought I’d give a quick update on Volume 2 of Band Orchestration.

First thing, there is an updated and corrected version of Volume 1 now available.  Several minor misprints have been fixed as well as some adjustment in formatting.  Nothing major.

As I write this, I currently have 135 pages and 22,000 words done in Volume 2.  As of right now, I foresee that Volume 2 will be about the same length as Volume 2 (roughly 400 pages and 80,000 words).  All told, this will be 800 pages and over 150,000 words devoted to band orchestration – by far one of the most complete texts ever written on the subject.

Volume 1 can still be easily ordered through the website by following this link.

Purchase a copy of Band Orchestration – Volume 1.


The Forest of Dreams – Part 2

While the instrumentation is unique, a work cannot stand on instrumentation alone.  Again, I go back to Mahler when he equated the symphony to the universe – it must contain everything.  Musical structure and cohesion are of utmost importance.  Without a clear meaning, a complex work is lost to the listener.

The idea behind Forest of Dreams is a nocturnal journey through one’s mind in the dreaming state.  Dreams a fluid.  One dream morphs into the next with no regard to what came before it, but all seem to have a common thread to them.  We aren’t aware when the dreams change.  As such, Forest of Dreams is a single movement work lasting around 50 minutes.  It is divided into six main sections with connecting material in between the main sections.


The introduction starts with an ominous clarinet chord and a rising motif in the Alto Clarinets, bassoons, and Harp.  This section is the darkness we see when we’re falling asleep.  It is nebulous and murky.  We have not begun dreaming yet, but the ideas of our dreams are beginning to form.  An undulating pattern tells us we are between dream.  This pattern will appear in all the interludes as we drift between dreams.  After a fitful episode, we begin to dream. Continue reading “The Forest of Dreams – Part 2”

Order a Copy of “Band Orchestration – Volume 1”


I’m running a sale on copies of my book Band Orchestration.  For a limited time only, you can get the book for 20% off the normal cost.  The means that you can get the print book for only $40 USD.  Shipping within the US will be just $5.  Shipping outside of the US will be $10 (some restrictions may apply, please inquire if you have any questions).

If you are within the US, use this link to purchase a copy, and I will have it shipped directly from the printer.  This is for the book plus shipping.

US Only

If you are outside of the US, use this link to purchase a copy, and I will have it shipped directly from the printer.  This is for the book plus shipping.

International Orders

If you’d like just the eBook version ($30 worldwide), use this link for it.

Digital Copy

The Book is Complete!

Just a few moments ago, I put the last chapter in place in the book.  It’s all editing and revising now.  As it stands, the book is just over 500 pages in length, over 73,000 words, and contains several complete band works written especially for the book.

To order a copy (eBook or print), go to https://www.gofundme.com/bandestration

Lament for Enkidu

In 2003, I spent most of my summer composing a huge orchestral piece, The Epic of Gilgamesh.  In that orchestral work, I had one section at the end of the third movement where the orchestra accompanied an off-stage male chorus singing the lament for Enkidu, the friend of Gilgamesh.  I was able to take this section and rewrite it for male chorus and Organ.

This recording is from a performance in 2004.

The Apollo Project

For years, I have been tantalized by a piece mentioned in Forsyth’s Orchestration.  In several of the chapters, he mentions a piece called Apollo and the Seaman by Joseph Holbrooke.  It’s known as an early use of symphonic saxophones and sarrusophones, and as such holds a significant place in the history of orchestration.  Not only that, it is quite possible that it was the first composition designed to be played in a multimedia setting.  To perform the piece, the orchestra and choir were to be placed in the dark, what a projector shown images of the of the text of the poem or images based on the text on a screen in front of the orchestra.  If this sounds like the setting for a silent movie, you’re right.  Except this piece dates from 1908, right at the dawn of feature length movies.

Essentially, Apollo and the Seaman was the first ever soundtrack.

The work received only a handful of performances due to its size and the cantankerous nature of the composer.  The last time any part of it was played, according to my research, was in 1914 – over 100 years ago.

I am currently working on a modern day edition of the second movement for wind ensemble so that some part of this lost work may live again.  I’ll continue to provide updates as the project progresses, but as of right now, on hearing the first few notes of the work, it really has been unjustly neglected for the past century.

Apollo 1