Ballad of a Wanderer (2022)

Ballad of a Wanderer (2022)


Piccolo – Flute – Oboe – English Horn – Clarinet in Bb – Bass Clarinet – 2 Bassoon – 4 Horn in F – 2 Trumpet in Bb – 2 Trombone – Bass Trombone – Tuba – Timpani – 2 Percussion (vibraphone, suspended cymbal, tubular bells, crotales) – Piano – Full Strings

Duration: 4′

Click HERE to view a PDF of the score.

Available for purchase at JW Pepper

About the orchestral version:

“Well, I sing by night, wander by day. I’m on the road and it looks like I”m here to stay.” – Bob Dylan

The orchestral version was written for the concert, “Celebrating Student Success: A Tribute to Ken Hanlon” on March 4, 2022 at Ham Concert Hall, University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

I was inspired by these words when I was writing this four-minute orchestral version of Ballad of a Wanderer to honor the memory of Ken Hanlon. Virko mentioned to me that Ken and his wife loved to travel. The piece opens with a trombone feature, carrying us on a musical journey as melodies emerge from the various instrumental families of the orchestra. The pizzicato strings at the beginning adds to the whimsical atmosphere, which for me, is a reflection of Ken’s personality when he would stop briefly by my office for cheerful chats in between teaching. The piece ends with a trombone solo offstage, reflecting on the opening idea, now only heard by one lone traveler. Even though we are no longer interacting with the physical representation of Ken, his memories are still with us and his soul could still be traveling (“sing by night, wander by day”).

The original, 8-minute version of the piece was written for the Eastman Horn Choir for premiere March 22, 2022.