A Winter's Tale

A Winter’s Tale was commissioned by the Western Plains Wind Consortium, Daniel Baldwin, Founder and Director. The first performance took place on December 1, 2009 at the OPSU Centennial Theatre in Goodwell, Oklahoma, by the Oklahoma Panhandle State University Concert Band, under the direction of Dr. Matthew C. Saunders.

The commission requested a ‘winter’ piece without connotations of Christmas or other seasonal religious festivals and the composer has sought to describe a winter scene deep in the countryside. The work opens with sustained woodwind chords, coloured by bells, under which a solo alto saxophone sings a solitary dawn song. A brief climax for full band introduces the work’s main theme, with muted colours describing fields and forests deep in snow. Once again the full band takes up the theme until distant sleigh bells herald the arrival of a horse-drawn ‘troika’. This soon passes and a quiet moment reintroduces the main theme which leads to a repeat of the introduction to close the work.