In the Beginning (grade 4)
In the Beginning was commissioned by the Loma Linda Academy Symphonic Band, Giovanni Santos, Director, and premiered by that ensemble in 2014. The title of the work comes, of course, from the first three words of the Book of Genesis, and that became the inspiration for the work. The piece opens with complete darkness in the house and on stage and the entire clarinet section seated in the audience. One by one, the clarinet players enter, responding to each other throughout the concert hall and beginning to gradually move toward their normal positions on stage. A solo flute enters with a "shaft of light," and the lights on stage begin to come up slowly. Finally the full ensemble enters on an octave F that crescendos to the moment of creation and from this moment onward, the piece embarks on a rollicking journey of brilliance and celebration. The pitch material for the work comes from the same collection that I used in the final movement of my Symphony No. 6, a major scale with a lowered sixth and seventh scale degree.