Wings of Eagles

Joseph Bertolozzi

About this work:
Wings of Eagles was premiered August 18, 2004 in Poughkeepsie, NY by The Concert Band of The United States Military Academy at West Point, with LTC Thomas Rotondi Jr. conducting. It was Bertolozzi’s second piece written specifically for the West Point Band, and was composed in commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the City of Poughkeepsie. Though Wings of Eagles could be played in any theater or outdoor space, it was conceived as a site-specific, outdoor composition, taking advantage of the physical characteristics of Poughkeepsie’s Civic Center Plaza and the surrounding architecture. The main contingent of the band was placed at street-level on Mansion St, in front of the Main Post Office; three antiphonal trumpets were stationed atop the roof of the adjacent Poughkeepsie Journal newspaper building, and three more on the balcony of the Post Office, above and behind the Band. Additionally, during the finale, the tower bell of the Post Office and the bells of local churches and civic buildings were rung. While the other bells tolled their traditional peals, the Post Office bell sounded out the last names of the patrons who commissioned the work in (very slow) Morse Code, in an additional nod to the City of Poughkeepsie, which Samuel Morse called home. With the music coming from three separate locations and with the bells enveloping the area, it was as if the whole city itself was being played.
Year composed: 2004
Duration: 00:08:00
Ensemble type: Band:Concert band
Instrumentation: 3 Piccolo, 2 Oboe, 1 Eb Clarinet, 9 Clarinet, 1 Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoon, 2 Alto Saxophone, 1 Tenor Saxophone, 1 Baritone Saxophone, 4 Horn in F, 5 Trumpet, 2 Trombone, 1 Bass Trombone, 3 Tuba, 2 Euphonium/Tenor Tuba, 1 Timpani, 2 Percussion (General), 1 Drum Set
Instrumentation notes: 3rd Fl doubles picc, 2nd Ob. doubles ca, 2nd bassoon doubles cbsn. The 9 clarinets are divided equally into Cl. 1, Cl. 2 and Cl. 3. The 11 trumpets are divided thusly: 5 in the band, and two sets of 3 trumpeters situated antiphonally from the main core of the band. These antiphonal trumpet parts are cued into the main trumpet and horn parts if six additional trumpets are not available. The "timpanist" is really Percussion 1, and plays Timpani, Sus. Cym., Bass Drum, and Xylophone. General percussion includes *(shared) Tam Tam, *Orch. B.D., Snare Drum, Vibes, *Sus. Cymbal, *Marimba 2 Anvils, one to each player, Triangle, *Glock. The Kit player is the only percussionist dedicated to a single instrument.

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