Works for Winds and Percussion

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thrive for winds and percussion (2012) - 5.5'

Commissioned by the Cope Middle School Symphonic Band, Bossier City, Louisiana 
Kevin Rabon, Director
Level: Medium Easy


Premiere: Spring 2012


Program Notes:

In a time of constant societal obstacles, it takes significant resolve to exert the effort and desire to advance in this world. To "thrive" is to grow vigorously and to flourish, feeding off of one's circumstances and environment, both good and band. We often think of plants and animal species that thrive in certain climates or certain geographical areas. In the same way, many of society's most inspirational figures, both past and present, have surged past the most stagnant of the world's meanderers to continue to flourish despite numerous barriers.

thrive is based on this concept of not merely living, but of never wasting an opportunity for progress. Throughout the piece, the percussion is used in a repetitive way to illustrate the "grounding" that we all often require to motivate us forward. Melodic and rhythmic concepts are often introduced by a single instrument or choir and then repeatedly stated by increasingly larger groups of instruments. At the height of this development and variation, the rhythmically driving percussion eventually subsides as the winds seemingly "take off" without the need of the comfort provided from the constant percussive tempo. Winds and percussion eventually regroup and continue the progress through the final moments of the piece.

thrive was commissioned by the Cope Middle School Symphonic Band of Bossier City, Louisiana, and their director, Kevin Rabon. Kevin is a dear friend and a fantastic teacher whom I first met in 2005 when I began my time marching with the Phantom Regiment Drum and Bugle Corps. Kevin has consistently proven himself as an extremely valuable music educator, as noted with his recognition as the 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year for Cope Middle School shortly after we began this collaboration.

It is a no-brainer to me to dedicate thrive to my uncle, Dennis Pitts. Dennis is the perfect example of a person who has thrived despite numerous obstacles that showed up in the months following his diagnosis with Multiple Myeloma in December 2010. Less than a year after the diagnosis, he is fighting hard, has a new kidney (donated by my superhero father, Rob Pitts), and is thriving due to his incredible attitude and determination throughout the entire process. What an example he has been to all of us.