Joy by Frank Ticheli. Concert band. Suitable for middle school and high school bands. Grade 2. Conductor score and set of parts. Duration 2:30. Published by Manhattan Beach Music (MH.1-59913-002-5).
Above all, Joy is an expression of its namesake: simple, unabashed joy. A boisterous, uninhibited quality is implied in the music, not only at climactic moments, but also by the frequent presence of sudden and dramatic stylistic contrasts. The main melody and overall mood of the work (and its companion piece, Joy Revisited) were inspired by a single event: the birth of our first child. The intense feelings that most any father would feel on such a day were, in my case, accompanied by a simple little tune which grabbed hold of me in the hours preceding her birth, and refused to let go throughout the day and many days thereafter. Indeed, until I jotted it down in my sketchbook, it did not release its grip. Seven years and two children later, I stumbled upon that old sketch and discovered (or rediscovered) that it would serve perfectly as the foundation for a joy-filled concert band overture. Joy, and its companion piece, Joy Revisited, are the results of an experiment I have been wanting to try for many years: the creation of two works using the same general melodic, harmonic, and expressive content. In other words, I endeavored to compose un-identical twins, two sides of the same coin - but with one major distinction: Joy was created with young players in mind, while Joy Revisited was aimed at more advanced players. Thus, Joy is more straightforward than its companion piece. Where Joy sounds a dominant chord (as in the upbeat to measure 10), Joy Revisited elaborates upon that chord with a flourish of 16th-notes. While Joy Revisited moves faster, develops ideas further, and makes use of a wider register, Joy is more concise. Despite these and many more differences between the two works, both come from the same essential cut of cloth, both were composed more or less simultaneously, and both were born out of the same source of inspiration. In short, Joy and Joy Revisited serve as two expressions of the feelings experienced by one expectant father (who happens also to be a composer) on one wonderfully anxious and exciting day. Ensemble instrumentation: 8 Flute (and optional Piccolo), 2 Oboe, 1 Bassoon, 6 Bb Clarinet 1, 6 Bb Clarinet 2, 2 Bb Bass Clarinet, 3 Eb Alto Saxophone 1, 3 Eb Alto Saxophone 2, 2 Bb Tenor Saxophone, 1 Eb Baritone Saxophone, 4 Bb Trumpet 1, 4 Bb Trumpet 2, 3 F Horn, 6 Trombone, 3 Euphonium B.C., 2 Euphonium T.C., 4 Tuba, 2 Timpani, 2 Mallets, 3 Percussion 1, 2 Percussion 2.