David and Goliath (grade 3)
The famous Biblical story of David and Goliath tells of the war between the Israelites and the Philistines and the eventual victory of the Israelites due to the unlikely heroism of a young shepherd. In the story, the two forces set up camp across the Valley of Elah from each other and the Philistines send forth Goliath, a behemoth of a warrior, who calls out to the Israelites to send forth their most powerful soldier for a battle to the death. For forty days, none of the Israelites step forward to oppose Goliath, until eventually a young shepherd named David volunteers. Gathering five smooth stones from the stream, he advances toward the enemy with his sling and strikes Goliath in the head, killing him. The story is one of the best-known passages in the Bible, adopted by many throughout history to demonstrate the power that comes through faith.
My piece attempts to depict the contrast between the two protagonists in the story. After a brief introduction, Goliath’s theme emerges in the low woodwinds, gradually building to a brief climax, before giving way to David’s theme, which is presented through a series of small wind solos over an ethereal background. Goliath’s theme re-emerges and David’s theme is layered over the top as the two characters approach each other for battle. At the climax of the work, the sound of rocks striking each other emerges from all members of the ensemble, gradually building to David’s eventual triumph and the final moments of the piece.
David and Goliath was commissioned by the Mississippi Association of Independent Schools Bandmasters for the 2018 MAIS Honors Band.