The Suggested Repertoire from Around the World for Developing Bands series is a new WASBE program of instructional materials to assist music directors in identifying exceptional works from around the world that are playable by developing musicians. Each of the selections in this series provides a myriad of musical elements that might be explored and developed within the rehearsal context, but the goal is to present music of artistic merit that aligns most directly to the composer’s unique voice. These are selections that stand out from works written largely for teaching purposes.
Our installments include four-five such works, each to be contributed by WASBE members from throughout the world. The offerings include exceptional and diverse works from around the world. Some of the selections will be well known while others will be quite unfamiliar to most – and there will be more than a few older compositions that we hope will be revisited, reacquainted, or discovered anew.
This ninth installment (October 2023) is dedicated to the six finalists works and the winners of the categories I and II of WASBE’s 4th Composition Contest, held during our regional conference of Lençóis Paulista, Brazil, in July 2023.
Category I (Grade 1-2) Finalists:
Kenley Kristofferson, (Canada) Winner!
“Depicting the radiant colours of a prairie sunset, this lush and lyrical ballad is an accessible entry into warm, colourful chords for a young band. Every instrument in the band contributes to the slow transformation of hues as the sun descends through the sky into nightfall.” (Kenley Kristofferson)
Mr. Kristofferson is a composer for concert band, concert choir, symphony orchestra and video games. Growing up as a euphonium player in Gimli, Manitoba, Canada, he later went on to complete his B. Mus and B. Ed degrees from the University of Manitoba and became one of the music teachers at Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive Secondary School in Selkirk, MB. In 2019, he completed his Master of Music in Composition from Brandon University, studying under Dr. T. Patrick Carrabré.
Kristofferson began composing at a young age, learning music by ear at the piano, then eventually writing for his own. Through his father’s job at the Evergreen School Division, his family acquired a computer and the internet through an early adopters’ ownership program, getting them earlier than others in his neighbourhood. As a teenager, he downloaded MIDI files of TV and movie themes, as well as video games and anime, and ripped the data into a notation program so he could score study his favourite music at the time. Like his early piano playing, it wasn’t long before he was using the software to write his own digital music. During his high school years, he pestered his high school music teacher for scores of their band music and, before long, began writing his own.
Mr. Kristofferson’s work The Meeting Place won the 2015 Canadian Band Association Composition Competition (now the Howard Cable Prize). His music has been performed at the Midwest Band Convention in Chicago and the Manitoba Music Educators’ Association Conference (TEMPO), among others. It has been recorded by the Arizona State University Wind Orchestra, Barrett Choir, and Choral Union, the University of Northern Colorado Wind Ensemble, the Cleveland Winds, the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble, and the Winnipeg Wind Ensemble.
He has written commercial work for video game franchises such as Betty Boop, Disney’s DuckTales, KRE-O and Warhammer 40,000, though his music puts clear focus on melody and texture, resulting in an often-singable theme overtop of evocative and warm harmonies. The score for his short film on the early life of astronomer Carl Sagan, Star Stuff, was nominated for Best Original Score in the “Short” category in the 2016 International Sound and Film Music Festival in Croatia.
More on Kenley Kristofferson
Derek Jenkins (United States)
“Kansas City and Rome are considered by many to be the cities of fountains. I have lived in Kansas City for many years and am always struck by the number of fountains throughout the city. I pass by several every day. For me, they stand as reminders that I need to slow down, relax, and enjoy the momentary peace and serenity a fountain can offer. In his iconic Fontane di Roma [Fountains of Rome], composer Ottorino Respighi depicts the majestic fountains in Rome. Respighi’s music has had a profound effect on me as a composer, and as a small homage, snapshots, and fragments reminiscent of his Fontane di Roma have been interspersed throughout my piece. This work takes Respighi’s Roman fountains and integrates them with the serenity that the Kansas City fountains bring me. Essentially, Fountains merges two cities half a world apart.” (Derek Jenkins)
Derek Jenkins (United States)
“Our sun has represented different things throughout history. It was a deity. An indirect source of food. A supplier of light. A point for navigation. An aid in the telling of time. However, one thing has remained constant: humans have always been enamored by the sheer power of the sun. Solar flares are one such manifestation of this power. NASA states that “[solar] eruptions are created when the motion of the sun’s interior contorts its own magnetic fields. Like the sudden release of a twisted rubber band, the magnetic fields explosively realign, driving vast amounts of energy into space. This phenomenon can create a sudden flash of light — a solar flare.” This piece alludes to the awesome power of a solar flare with its driving rhythms, sudden changes, and majestic fanfares.” (Derek Jenkins)
Derek Jenkins holds degrees from the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) (DMA composition, MM musicology, 2017; BM composition, BM theory, 2010) and Rice University (MM composition, 2013). Additionally, he has received instruction at the Kärntner Landeskonservatorium and the Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt. Beyond music, he was a Preparing Future Faculty Fellow at UMKC where he earned a graduate certificate in college teaching and career preparation, and he briefly studied mathematics at Loras College. His mentors have included James Mobberley, S. Andrew Granade, Joseph Parisi, Karim Al-Zand, Chen Yi, Steven D. Davis, William Everett, Pierre Jalbert, Richard Lavenda, Paul Rudy, and Zhou Long. He has also studied with Amy Dunker, Peter Graham, and Alfred Stingl.
More on Derek Jenkins
Category II (Grade 3-4) Finalists:
Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 2
Kenley Kristofferson (Canada) Winner!
“Icelandic Folk Song Suite No. 2 comprises the final two movements of the complete Icelandic Folk Song Suite (the scherzo and the vivace). The first movement of the second suite, “Krummavisur,” sets a folk song about a raven who is prowling for food but comes up hungry after every opportunity. Its bird-like opening is set entirely for double reeds, though quickly moves into a rolling three-four as the bird takes to the skies. The second half of this movement sets up the transition to the vivace, using its thematic material as a bridge and takes off like a rocket into the following movement.
The last movement, “A Sprengisandi,” recounts the tale of a man riding his horse through the Sprengisandi mountains in Iceland and encountering all kinds of creatures, dangers, and evil spirits as he races back toward his home. This movement also brings back themes from all four movements of both Icelandic Folk Song Suites and weaves them together until the piece arrives at a climactic finish.” (Kenley Kristofferson)
Daisuke Shimizu (Japan)
“A young man in a chaotic world, surrounded by skyscrapers decides he wants to escape reality, starts running and before he notices, flies up towards the sky. As he threads through the skyscrapers in trepidation, he spots a light way up high. It was a ray of light of dream and hope. The young man makes his way towards it in earnest.
Since 2020, the world has become volatile, which is why my hope is for young people who have a love for music to keep their hopes and dreams, and to keep stepping forward. Subconsciously, it was with those things in mind that sparked my imagination and shaped how this piece has turned out.” (Daisuke Shimizu)
Daisuke Shimizu graduated from the Showa College of Music in 2002, having studied composition with Toshibumi Fujiwara, He has composed for premier bands such as the Japan Air Self-Defense Force Chubu Band, Japan Ground Self-Defense Force Eastern Army Band, JGSDF 6th Division Band, Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force Yokosuka Band, and the Siena Wind Orchestra.
You Belong Here
Carl Holmquist (Puerto Rico/United States)
“The piece celebrates the idea that all people are welcome in the band. The strongest music programs are ones that make every student feel like they have a home in the ensemble. The work takes the listener on a journey that weaves thematic material through a variety of styles and sounds and ultimately blends them together in a joyous final section.” (Carl Holmquist)
Carl Holmquist earned a BM in music education from St. Olaf College, where he studied conducting and composition with Timothy Mahr and Steven Amundson. He also earned a MM in instrumental conducting from George Mason University, where he studied with Mark Camphouse and Anthony Maiello. He is the director of bands at the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Arlington, Va., where he teaches concert bands, jazz band, and music theory.
As a composer, he has written numerous works for concert band, chamber ensembles, and vocal ensembles, and has been commissioned by middle school, high school, and community ensembles across the country. Holmquist contributed a chapter to Volume 4 of the Composers on Composing for Band series, edited by Mark Camphouse and published by GIA Publications. He was also named a finalist in the 2009 Frank Ticheli Composition Contest for his piece, Salaam. He was one of three composers to participate in the 2008 Young Composer Mentor Project, sponsored by the National Band Association. Holmquist also received first prize in the 2006 Claude T. Smith Memorial Composition Contest for his work, Play!
Mr. Holmquist is the director of bands at the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Arlington, Va., where he teaches concert bands, jazz band, and music theory. In addition to his work at H-B Woodlawn, he maintains an active schedule serving as guest composer, conductor and clinician for school, community and honor ensembles and has presented at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic.
More on Carl Holmquist