The Hornet's Nest by Ralph Hultgren. For concert band. Brolga Music Symphonic Repertoire. Grade 4. Score and set of parts. Duration 9:15. Published by Brolga Music Publishing Company (BL.YMB006).
The Hornet's Nest was commissioned by the Band Association of New South Wales for the Australian Bicentennial National Band Championships, Easter 1988. The work is programmatic and has been written to depict aspect of the F-18 Hornets operations. It is dedicated to the men of the R.A.A.F. Hornet squadron.
The piece begins with the hanger doors opening and the sun glinting on the cockpit as the aircraft are towed to the taxi way. The engines roar and after burners ignite as the aircraft accelerate down the strip and rotate one after the other. The lyrical section is meant to convey the freedom of flight - nothing above the canopy but the sky. The serenity is shattered as the dog fight begins; the battle is joined and the freedom of flight gives way to combat.
Finally, the war games end and the aircraft turns for home and performs a victory role.