Sierra Nevada

Sierra Nevada was commissioned by the Sierra Nevada Winds, Bill Hill conductor, and first performed by them on 19th November 2005.

Gary Truesdale, a clarinettist with the band, was moved to write the following programme notes:-

This work presents the listener with the wondrous grandeur of one of the great mountain ranges in California, U.S.A., the Sierra Nevada. When the music begins the listener is first greeted with the awakening of an early morning in the Sierras, complete with a mysterious, foggy mist, totally obscuring any hint of what lies within, that creates a feeling of complete stillness and peace with the world. As the mist slowly dissipates, hidden forms begin to make their presence known and gradually become a tremendous panorama of grand snow-covered mountain peaks. Grandiose and immense in all their beauty and glory, they stand before you with a sense of undeniable power, extending in all directions as far as the eye can see. 

Upon closer inspection one can imagine the circling golden eagles, the regal elk and royal stags, all lazily wandering the hills and canyons of conifers that stand tall, reaching for the passing clouds in hopes of gaining a few rays of life-giving sunshine and moisture. Look in another direction and you will see the immense rolling hillsides of colourful wild flowers, fluttering butterflies, birds darting about, sparkling waterfalls and all critters existing in harmony.  After the day’s activities the sun begins to slip below the horizon, the mist returns, and all living things prepare for another still night of sleep, serenity and the warmth of their secure bedding places.