Firefly: An original composition for symphonic wind ensemble
Ross, Elaine M.
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This dissertation is an original composition for symphonic wind ensemble with an accompanying analysis document. Firefly is an eighteen minute, programmatic composition intended to provide a work accessible to both the performers and the audience. It is presented in two movements entitled "As Darkness Glows" and "Blue Whirlwind" and is scored for traditional wind ensemble including: piccolo, two flutes, two oboes, Eb clarinet, three Bb clarinets, bass clarinet, two bassoons, two alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, three Bb trumpets, four horns, two tenor trombones, bass trombone, euphonious, tuba, string bass, piano, timpani, and multiple percussion. The work explores elements of minimalism; whole-tone and octatonic sonorities; jazz elements such as flat thirds, sixths, and sevenths; and rhythmic complexities that include polyrhythm; and contrapuntal devices such as canonic imitation. The analysis of the work includes a discussion of formal structure, thematic development, vertical sonorities, rhythm in relation to meter, and orchestration. Firefly was premiered February 25th, 2005 by the Meadows Wind Ensemble, conducted by Dr. Jack Delaney, at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.