pillars-of-earth-predesigned-marching-band

About the Show

    • A mighty fortress by Martin Luther
    • Ode to Joy by Ludwig Van Beethoven
    • Sanctuary by Ticheli
    • Organ Concerto in d minor by Johann Sebastian Bach

Familiar hymns are woven together in varying ways throughout this show that depicts a colossal stone cathedral. To create depth in the sonic palate, amplification for soloists with antiphonal and reverb effects is used, simulating the real sounds one would experience inside a cathedral.

This show begins with a lone chime call and an antiphonal brass quartet with cathedral reverb that sets the scene for the vast strong sound of a towering stone cathedral. Mallets then enter with pieces of our show themes and drive us to the culmination of the intro where ode to joy and a mighty fortress are intertwined amongst the low and high winds.
Next, there is a call and response section for percussion and woodwinds that is written in a faux mixed meter (thereby not inhibiting marching technique) and depicts a medieval dance; if your group has a strong keyboardist the organ can play a prominent role, if not, simply let the mallets take the lead. The next section changes moods and allows the low brass a feature in which they portray chanting monks in the halls of the church. Trumpet and Alto solos build us into the reemergence of a mighty fortress and drive us to the climax of this movement.

After a moment for audience applause, the mallets and chimes bring back the solemn mood of penitence with dark bell sounds and our brass quartet presents solo phrases as the ensemble transitions to the opening of Ticheli’s Sanctuary. The weightless sound of a flute solo and woodwind wind accompaniment float us up into the rafters and hang on a moment as the phrase culminates; a beautiful opportunity for guard sabre features or choreography. A short mallet transition leads us to a long build and huge peak of jubilation, that reaffirms the greatness of such a vast structure. Ultimately, the transition phrase leads back to a solemn and contemplative mood as the production continues.

The winds fade giving way to the front ensemble for the opening to Bach’s Organ Concerto in d minor. Running 8th and 16th notes depict high velocity geometric drill and the colors of stained glass in this section. As the mallets trade phrases and build, the full ensemble enters for a powerhouse of a moment leading again to running 8ths throughout the ensemble and a powerful hit. After this climax point we transition back to our main themes and ode to joy brings us to a virtuous finale of triumph!

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