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Cantus Laetus

Concerto for Winds and Percussion

By David Gillingham

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Cantus Laetus (Concerto for Winds and Percussion). Composed by David Gillingham. For concert band (Piccolo, Flute 1/2, Oboe 1/2, Bassoon 1/2, Contrabassoon, Bb Clarinet 1, Bb Clarinet 2, Bb Clarinet 3, Bass Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, Bb Trumpet 1, Bb Trumpet 2, Bb Trumpet 3, Horn 1/2, Horn 3/4, Tro). Grade 6. Score only. Duration 15:45. Published by C. Alan Publications (CN.05251).

Cantus Laetus is a statement of praise and affirmation of life which exploits every corner of emotion through the coloristic and dramatic capabilities of the symphonic band. Three main sections feature the three families of the ensemble, Calamus (reeds/woodwinds), Aes (brass), and Ictus (percussion). In addition to its own feature, the percussion section is involved in all the other sections along with the piano and harp.

My affection for composing for bands, winds, and percussion over the past twenty years has, in part, been a source of inspiration for Cantus Laetus. Another source has been the encouragement I have received from colleagues and friends who have thought that I should write a definitive work exploiting the attributes of this large group of winds and percussion that we call the "band." And, finally, I have been inspired by the University of Georgia Band program under the superb leadership of Dwight Satterwhite. This work is my fourth commission for the University of Georgia Band program and I hope will not be my last. Virtually all the melodic material for this concerto is based on one of the most famous Gregorian Hymns, "Veni Creator Spiritus" for the Second Vespers of Whitsunday. This chant, as well as the Easter sequence, "Victimae Paschal Laudes," are two of my favortie melodies of all time. "Veni Creator Spiritus" is tuneful and lends itself to a variety of harmonic settings. The title, Cantus Laetus, translates to "Joyful Noise," with "noise in this case being "music." There is obvious and intended reference in the title to Psalm 100 ("Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the lands!"). In fact, wind and percussion instruments are mentioned throughout the entire book of Psalms as instruments of praise. Therefore, Cantus Laetus is a statement of praise and affirmation of life which exploits every corner of emotion through the coloristic and dramatic capabilities of the symphonic band. The work is cast in three major sections which are framed by an introduction, Initium, and a coda, Finis. The three middle sections feature the three families of the ensemble, Calamus (reeds/woodwinds), Aes (brass), and Ictus (percussion). In addition to its own feature, the percussion section is involved in all the other sections along with the piano and harp. - David R. Gillingham.

Cantus Laetus

Concerto for Winds and Percussion

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Concerto for Winds and Percussion

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Ensemble: Concert Band Music 

Format: Score 

Level: Grade 6