Concerto for Marimba & Band
Grade 4 Band, Grade 6 Marimba in 8:00
In Progress and looking for a Commissioner. If you and/or a consortium is interested in commissioning this work, please call or write.
The Year of Sorrow & the Tears of Allah
3:49 for Grade 4 band
In the Islamic tradition, the Year of Sorrow (Arabic: نزحلا ماع , romanized: ‘Ām al-Huzn, also translated Year of Sadness) is the Hijri year in which Muhammad’s wife Khadijah and his uncle and protector, Abu Talib died. The year approximately coincided with 619 CE, or the tenth year after Muhammad’s first revelation.
Surely, for Muhammad, it was a year of Suffering, Sadness, and Sorrow. For this reason and more I have composed this work. “The Year of Sorrow... and the Tears of Allah” is related to the Grade 6 work, Hajj, which appears on the STORMJourneys Album. This ©2022 work provides greater access to the same harmonic and color-rich language of the Hajj, but for Grade 4 Bands. In fact, this work may be considered a 1st movement of what you might one day render as, Hajj in 2 movements.
These quotes from THE PROPHET by Kahlil Gibran, not only inspired the “Music” but, as you will see, also the Orchestration.
“Shall it be said that my eve was in truth my dawn?”
“And alone and without his nest shall the eagle fly across the sun.”
“Am I a harp that the hand of the mighty may touch me, or a flute that his breath may pass through me?”
“Even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.”
“The freest song comes not through bars and wires.”
As it was for writing Hajj, I wanted to extend the hand of Love & Brotherhood to my Brothers and Sisters of Islam. The 99 names of Allah, Jehovah, Yahweh, God, Father... all are but different callings for the One God who created Existence and each of us. Because our world is so unnecessarily divided by the very diverse Creativity of Allah, certainly, He sheds tears for us. That is the reason for this Music. It is to illustrate His point of view. He sees us as One while we see ourselves as divided. But one day, and each of us knows this deep within, Love shall prevail. We will walk the Earth as Brothers and Sisters. Until then, as Allah weeps, so also do we.
5:12 for Grade 5-6 Band and/or Fanfare Orchestra
Energy! Human Energy! A piece for the Great Human Adventure!... Lived and yet to be lived! Though this physically demanding Music is its own Story, and I remain novelless in describing it, this quote by Saint Francis, which did not inspire the Music, nevertheless points to one of the many messages within the piece.
“All the darkness in the world
cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.”
— St. Francis of Assisi
Enjoy the Journey & Godspeed!
Stephen Melillo, Composer
A Requiem of Two Poems
5:50 for Grade 4 Band
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology Concert Band
Dr. Thomas E. Reynolds, Collin J. Myers, Jonathan O. Schmidt, Conductors
On 24 FEB 2022, the gentleman who allowed me to use his photograph for the Score-cover of The Concerto for Tuba, posted a Poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The war-time poem was laden with hurt and pain, loneliness and sorrow.
Mere hours later, Russia invaded Ukraine. Friends and descendants from Ukraine wrote. One first-generation Ukrainian “has a 16-year-old girl from Ukraine with him as part of an exchange.” She is separated from her family, now under attack.
Poetry & War. Minutes after writing Musical Haiku #113, I discovered another Poem by the Ukrainian Poet,
Taras Schevchenko. Musical Haiku #113 was retitled, “A Requiem of Two Poems.”
Catherine L. Geach, for whom was composed, “Lonely is the Knight” some 23 years ago, the Woman who created the school for war-torn orphans in Cambodia, listened to the piece. ‘Hearing’ the Music, she presented me with a Violin recording that she had made while on her knees in Prayer. A video of this Violin version was posted on YouTube.
Then... Only hours after its writing and posting, the recording was played at The Church of Berezdizi near Lviv, Ukraine. The Music was not only played in the Church but all around Ukraine including areas under attack and even during Prayer for Ukrainian soldiers before going into battle.
One must marvel at the workings of God... for most assuredly, the Music, its Purpose, and its rapid spreading in Ukraine and beyond, were and remain in His hands.
On 15 Mar 2022, Dr. Thomas Reynolds listened to the Violin version of “A Requiem of Two Poems” and requested a version for band. Though at first I was content to leave the original outpouring of the Musical Haiku as a permanent, unaltered snapshot of History, and always will, I did indeed revisit the piece. The result is a more developed statement with the depth of Colour only available to us in the Band of the 3rd Millennium™.
Here now, that work is humbly offered. These OPTIONS extend the many possibilities built into a live rendering of this work:
1. The Ukrainian Poem, and or both Poems may be read prior to playing the piece.
2. Bars 9-45 may be repeated. On the first iteration, only the HARP plays while the Poem(s) are read. When it is time to bring in the full ensemble, use the beat 4, HORN Solo pick-up note to bar 9 and play the piece as written. This optional inclusion of a new element, namely a “Piece for Poem & Harp” effectively extends the work to a new duration of 8:25.
The New Beginning
17:00 Grade 5-6 (in 5 Sections, for Quarantine and optional Live Music-making.)
|The New Beginning (in 5 Sections)|
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Thomas E. Reynolds, Co-Conductor
Collin J. Myers, Co-Conductor
Forty years ago on 3 May of 1980, the M.I.T. Concert Band under
the direction of Professor John Corley rendered my first suite
of pieces, a 10 movement work for extended Band and Jazz
Ensemble, called “Only for Now.” Today, 40 years and 1,243 pieces later, we present “The New Beginning.”
The following “score” mixes the use of standard practices with the technological restrictions and possibilities of a “quarantined” Music-making process. With MIT Musicians literally scattered across the world because of the 2020 lock-down, some of whom were in the ensemble from 40 years ago, this piece has been devised and humbly offered. One day, portions of it can be rendered live. We long for such a day.
Other portions provide an opportunity for Music-making in ways that combine human with beyond normal physical expressions.
Whereas each Musician will receive a “part” as necessitated by a particular sub-section of the work, each Musician will also receive the Score, namely, this document. The Score combines staging directions, notations, and processes specific to the possibilities of this ensemble of scattered Musicians, at this Time, in this technological environment.
Let’s begin! Godspeed! Stephen Melillo , Composer
I Hear Now in Heaven
20:20 Grade 5-6 (3 movements)
|I Hear Now in Heaven (3 movements)|
Commissioned by Das Musikkops der Bundeswehr for the 250th Anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven. This work was to be premiered by Das Musikkorps der Bundeswehr at the Telekom-Dome in Bonn, Germany on 21 April 2020. Because of covid, it has been postponed. You can order the work, but you will have to wait until after the formal world premiere before playing it. Godspeed! S