for concert band
Grade 3+ / Texas PML Grade 4
Click to buy : Full set $120. Extra 9x12 score $20.
Commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band, Cheryl Floyd and Charles Fischer, conductors.
World premiere on May 13, 2008, Bates Recital Hall at the University of Texas at Austin, conducted by Cheryl Floyd.
Though many of his pieces are extremely virtuosic, Undertow is the first of Mackey's works written specifically for intermediate band. It was commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band and premiered by that ensemble with its conductor, Cheryl Floyd, in May 2008. The work is significantly different than much of Mackey's output in terms of technical difficulty, but many characteristic elements of his writing are nonetheless present, including biting semitone dissonance within a tonal context, frequent use of mixed meter, heavy percussion effects and, perhaps most importantly to this work, a pervasive ostinato. The metric pattern for the piece is an alternation of 7/8 and 4/4 time, which provides an agitated "out-of-step" pulsation throughout. The energetic opening melody cycles through several repetitions before washing away into a gentle stream of percussive eighth notes. From here, a countermelody emerges that slowly ratchets the energy back up to its original level, where the initial melody returns to round out the explosive conclusion.
Program note by Jake Wallace
Please credit Jake Wallace when reproducing or excerpting this program note