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By Donald Furlano

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Samhain composed by Donald Furlano. For Concert band. Original Work. Grade 3. Score and set of parts. Duration 5:20. Published by Scomegna Edizioni Musical srl (S4.ESB1186).

Samhain, the beginning of the Celtic New Year, is a ritual celebrated on the night between October 31 and November 1. The rising of the Pleiades, the winter stars, indicates the arrival of long winter days in which the hours of darkness exceed the hours of light. There is not much work to be done in the fields, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and nature had gone dormant as the seeds recoil below the ground waiting for their awakening in spring. Days get increasingly shorter: it is the death of light. On the eve of the ritual all of the fires in the houses are extinguished, everyone gathers on the top of the hills where they prepare a large bonfire and silently wait in the darkness; at the stroke of midnight, the hour that signals the change of the seasons, they light the sacred fire and start dancing in a circle around it. The ritual magic formulas are finally pronounced, the borders between the world of the living and the dead open and allow spirits and other supernatural entities to cross over and socialize with humans. The fires of - become a guide for the wandering spirits. The discovery of the self is about to start: it is the time to traverse the depths of our being and learn the multifaceted truth of life. This piece was awarded with the 1st Prize in Section C in the 4th Sinnai International Youth Wind Band Composition Contest held in 2012.

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