Concert Band
Commissioned by the Concert Bands of the Big Ten Universities

Program notes: 

            Island was commissioned by the concert bands of the Big Ten Universities and completed in May, 1998.  Its initial inspiration came from Aldous Huxley’s book of the same name, though the relationship is not at all specific.  Two aspects of the book figure most noticeably in my piece: the setting on a verdant, tropical isle and the difficult lesson of learning how to live in the present moment (“Here and now, boys,” says the colorful parrot).  The verdant landscape is suggested through the use of layers of music which overlap and interweave in a manner analogous to the tangled vines in a jungle.  (Whether it might after all be an urban jungle is open to discussion.)  The principal melody of the piece, introduced in trumpets near the beginning, is my “here and now” music.  Beyond these two aspects of the work one can hear music that is often celebratory in character, as if a raucous party were going on.     - Donald Crockett