The levels of difficulty are from 1 (easy) to 5 (difficult). Each piece bears a number. A title bearing an asterisk indicates that a recording is available upon request.
BIRD, FROG and TREE CLUB THE -- picc-2-2-EH-2-bass Cl-2 -- (orchestra and chorale OR choir and piano) Also see this described in "instrumental works." This piece was commissioned by Paul Stanbery and the Hamilton/Fairfield Symphony and Chorale and was premiered in Hamilton, Ohio, 2006. Wallace De Pue was given the honor to have a whole concert of his orchestral and choral works presented on the American Masters Concert Series.
THE SENSIBLE BIRD (15:08) #4-
Movement I, “The Sensible Bird” is for a soprano soloist who plays the role of a bird who tries to discuss how mankind can improve in his relationship to nature. The mood of this movement is lyrical and lovely.
The chorus ranges: (solo range: F1-b2) soprano, D1-f#2; alto, a-d2; tenor, b-G1; bass, F#-D1 (15:30)
Look up, Mankind!
I am the brightly colored bird
soaring far above you.
Not to make holes in the dense,
protecting the firmament,
do I fly so high;
I need to rise above those blinding obstacles;
while I search for heaven’s gate.
As I disappear from your sight,
I see faces,
watching me from below.
They may be spirits, disguised as clouds,
who have been seeking heaven’s gate
They watch with envy.
Some stare up at me,
show me only their silhouettes.
Some appear to be looking down at you,
hoping that you will also rise above your obstacles?
You have thoughts that can locate heaven’s gate. You can fly much higher than I
by using your mind.
At such altitude,
I am too cold to continue my search.
No mere bird can bridge the invisible wall
that guards the dwelling place of souls.
Only psalms of praise can do that.
You can sing psalms!
See the way I flit in-and-out
of the lacy clouds,
leaving little trails of white mist?
Beautiful sights were created for your eyes.
Observe my striking colors,
then look around you at trees,
flowers and waterfalls.
Because you may not see my brightly colored wings,
I will descend to the top of a nearby tree. Now, you can watch my colors flash
and know that I, too, am a gift for you to see.
The gift of song has been given to birds.
Listen to me sing!
His eye may be on the sparrow,
but He prefers to hear me sing.
Would you be more entertained
by the voice of a crow?
Would the voices behind heaven’s gate
sing music such as yours?
Have you ever heard the soothing music of a harp
play a song of peace?
If every morning,
each man would greet his neighbor
with a note for him to match,
the world would be filled with such harmony
as to make the clouds seek heaven’s gate
Music has no purpose
except to make every day of your life more beautiful.
one cannot touch another’s hand.
Without beautiful music,
how can one touch another’s soul?
To practice singing as I do,
listen to silence,
then respond with melody.______________________________
If I could be your friend,
we could learn wonderful things together.
May I come and perch on your shoulder?
Would you harm a fragile creature such as I?
If I would dare to light on your shoulder, would you stroke my shining feathers gently,
or would you use them to decorate your hat?
Fear is a great blessing for little creatures;
it prevents the lamb from lying down with the lion,
and prevents birds from making similar mistakes.
You can move other beings with love;
it is a blessed way to feel
The greatest love in the universe
lives behind heaven’s gate
because of your sense of smell,
does a fresh,
hot apple pie,
in an open windowsill,
speak to you?
You say that one’s nose cannot speak!
Of all of the features on your face,
your nose speaks most loudly!
It leads wherever you go!
You rely on it for direction or discovery.
Because of scent,
the blind see more than the sighted.
If your sense of smell were lost,
You couldn’t taste an apple pie.
If your home were surrounded by roses,
the thorns would have the same aroma as the flowers.
After a heavy rain,
you can enjoy the pleasure of inhaling freshness
to have your spirit renewed.
The air you breathe comes from behind heaven’s gate.
Smell the gift of life!
It is everywhere…
and it belongs to you!
What a miracle taste is!
Taste can inspire the imagination.
The very thought of it
can lead one to heavy decisions.
If given the choice,
what would be your final menu?
How would you decide?
On Monday, your fare might be selected,
but on Tuesday,
you may fancy something else!
like all else on our planet,
Is always changing!
nothing can be new.
Behind heaven’s gate
there is manna,
the food of angles.
There we will learn what a miracle taste is.
…and much, much more.
THE FRIENDLY FROG
picc-2-2-EH-2-bass clar-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 6 perc / sop. solo / SATB / celesta / harp strings (7:45) #4-
Movement II, The Friendly Frogis about a frog’s daily challenges as a member of a swamp community. Through all of the frog’s trials, he sings about the joy of life. This movement is quite rhythmic and full of sound affects and tone clusters. There are eight parts that divide. Pitches are secondary in importance to effect. This movement lends itself well to choreography.
Vocal ranges are: soprano: E1-a2: alto, g-d2; tenor, e-G#1; Bass, E-D1
Man’s best friend is a frog,
not a dog.
Ask any little boy.
Women’s best friend is a dog,
not a frog.
Ask any little girl.
A frog doesn’t have a friend,
but he is a friend to every living thing!
As I sit on my lily pad,
Snake calls to me:
“Sssit ssstill, my friend,
I’ll beee right there.”
with huge round eyes,
“Come! Come! Come!”
as if he wants to play a game with me
in the water.
He only plays “Hide and Seek.”
As Snake glides toward me
on top of the pond,
and Fish darts excitedly
beneath my seat,
I leap high above my problems
only to see Bird diving towards me
as I am in the air!
When I land on the beach,
I am full of joy!
Ah, for a new chance to start over!
Here comes Lizard!
If I leap,
there is Bird;
if I swim,
there is Fish;
if I skim,
there is Snake!
you think you have troubles!
There are more frogs
than any other creatures on land.
all over the world,
we join in chorus
to sing the glorious “Song of Life”!
THE SERVANT TREE
picc-2-2-EH-2-bass clar-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 6 perc / SATB / celesta / harp / strings (9:15) #4-
Movement III, The Servant Tree allows a tree to describe itself as the earth’s guardian of life and beauty, sent here by the Creator to enable mankind to breathe. His/her voice is heard in the sounds of whispering breezes, rustling leaves and stark, firm sound structures.
Vocal ranges: soprano, F1-a2; also, g#-d2; tenor, d-G1; bass, a-D1 (10:36) MEDIUM
Mankind, your Creator sent me here to serve you. In the morning, I brush the skies to clear your air.
I house a chorus of songbirds who start your day with music.
At noontime, I cool your streets and shield you from the blazing sun.
My branches provide you with fruit and nuts.
In the evening,
I hide your homes from prying eyes
and guard your estate from vicious winds.
My roots trap raindrops,
hold your soil,
and protect your crops.
I repel harmful sunbeams
and keep you safe.
your eyes are thrilled by my crystal branches
bathed in ice and light.
my leaves provide you with individual works of art,
different from any other.
And in Spring,
I am the first to prove that life is never lost;
it simply awaits new birth.
Just as frozen icicles become fresh water
in the warm air,
become spirits at heaven’s gate.
If you listen to the rustling of my branches
as I inhale a breeze,
you will hear me join the chorus of trees
in a song of praise for the gift of life.
CONCERTO for PERCUSSION and ORCHESTRA
Movement I(1-1+picc / 2-2-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 4 perc + 5 players / strings) has a structure of fast, slow, fast, for its three movements. Each movement may stand alone as an entity even though all movements are related compositionally. A good college orchestra can play movement One. (5:15) #5
Movement II( (2-2-E.H.-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 4 perc. / celesta/ harp) is suitable for a high school orchestra. (5:20) #3+
Movement III(1-1+picc/2-E.H.-2-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 4 perc) requires some virtuosity from the performers and will take careful preparation. Each of the three movements has won an award for composition. The concerto is written in serial counterpoint and contemporary in nature.(6:30) #5
FIDDLER’S CONTEST, THE (2-2-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 /3 perc) A SUITE
YANGY’S HOEDOWN(solo violin-2-2-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 3 perc) 3:41 #
OLD-FASHIONED WALTZ, AN(solo violin-2-2-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 3 perc) 3:38
PAUL and PATTI POLKA(solo violin-2-2-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 4 perc) 3:22
FIDDLER’S FARE, THE(solo violin-2-2-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 3 perc) 3:55
*FIDDLER’S FARE, THE (picc 2-2-EH-2-Bass Cl. / 4-3-3-1 / 2 perc / strings) was written for the Blue Lake Youth Orchestra of Three Lakes, Michigan, and was taken on the annual European tour. The piece was also performed several times in America. A violinist who can "fiddle" is necessary for this piece which contains both original and borrowed melodies. Two of the arranged pieces are "All the Good Times Are Past and Gone," and "The Orange Blossom Special." The harmonic language is traditional. The duration of the piece is about four to five minutes. (3:55) #2+
FIDDLER’S FARE, THE (1-1-1-1 / SATB / 3 perc.) arrangement
FIDDLER’S FARE, THE (2-2-2-2 / 4-2-2-1 / 2 perc.) arrangement
FIDDLER’S FARE, THE (2-2-2-2 / 2-2-1-1 / 1 perc.) arrangement
FIDDLER’S FARE, THE (1-1-1-1 / 2-2-2-1 / 2 perc.) arrangement
LA RONDE DES LUTINS (The Round of the Goblins) Antonio Bazzini (1818-1897) is a piece for a virtuoso violinist that is arranged for string orchestra. The solo violin is accompanied by an orchestra playing easy string parts at a fast pace. This is an audience favorite. It is a perfect work with which to end a concert. It is a"scherzo fantastique,"and absolutely fascinating to hear. This piece was premiered in France during 2011. (7:30, with repeats) #5+ for the solo; #3- for the orchestra
OLD-FASHIONED WALTZ, AN (solo violin-2-2-2-2 / 2-1-1-1 / 3 perc) is from theFiddler’s Contest Suite.This lovely waltz can be played, independently from the suite, by a high school orchestra. 3:38 #2
*PASSACAGLIA FOR ORCHESTRA (2-2-2-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 2 / strings) is a very melodic and rhythmic work that would afford a challenge to a youth and be simple for a professional adult orchestra. The piece was premiered by the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra and was broadcast over the radio. Passacagliahas enjoyed several performances since then. The harmonic language is devoted to the 12-tone serial technique. (6:05) #4
*PRELUDE AND A DORIAN DANCE (2-2-2-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 2 perc / strings) was written for the Blue Lake Youth Orchestra of Three Lakes, Michigan. It has enjoyed many performances, both in Europe and in the United States. As the title suggests, there are two sections, the first one in a melancholy mood and the second in a modal dance in triple-simple rhythm. The harmonic language is traditional. (5:05) #2
PRELUDE AND SARABANDE is for string orchestra. It was written because of the tragic and unexpected death of a young lady. The music is a memorial to a young life that was lost. The Prelude could bear the subtitle, Anguish,while the Sarabandecould have been called, "eternal peace." The effect of the entire work is pensive and beautiful. The harmonic language is contemporary and uses added tone technique and quartal harmony to some extent. (3:57) #3+
SASQUATCH (2-2-2-2 / 4-2-3-1 / 2 perc / strings) is a piece for young or adult orchestral players. It is not programmatic music, but a little imagination can tempt the listener to envision Bigfoot marching to the scene of a conflict. The "conflict" section is devoted to mixed modes and exciting rhythms. A touring version with different instrumentation is also available. The harmonic language is contemporary and uses much quartal harmony. (5:02). #3
SERENADE FOR STRING ORCHESTRA (solo violin/strings) is an asymmetric piece of beautiful sound. Whether it is performed by a professional orchestra or one made of high school students will not matter; still, it will enchant an audience. (4:52) #3