He is Starlight

by Anthony Ritchie, for brass band, Opus 183

short description

Programme Note

He is Starlight was commissioned by Margaret Austin with financial support from UNESCO, for performance by The Woolston Band at the 2015 Festival of Star Light in Twizel, New Zealand.

The piece is a commemoration for composer John Ritchie (J.A.R.), my father, who died in 2014, aged 93. He had a long association with the Woolston Band, composing several pieces for them.
The title He is Starlight is a line from a poem called Frost by Cilla McQueen, which describes a bereavement. I like idea that when someone dies they join the stars. This idea is suggested through musical imagery, with prominent use of glockenspiel, vibes and tubular bells, as well as mutes on the brass. The music also integrates a short quotation from John Ritchie's well-known Clarinet Concertino (1958). The slow opening leads to a faster, more ebullient section, which captures some of my father's energy as a busy musician.

Resources required:
Soprano Cornet (1)
Solo Cornet (4)
Repiano Cornet (1)
2nd Cornet (2)
3rd Cornet (2)
Flugelhorn (1)
Solo Tenor horn (1)
1st Tenor horn (1)
2nd Tenor horn (1)
1st Euphonium (1)
2nd Euphonium (1)
1st Baritone (1)
2nd Baritone (2)
1st Trombone (1)
2nd Trombone (1)
Bass Trombone (1)
E flat Bass (2)
B flat bass (2)
Percussion (3 + timpani, including glockenspiel, vibraphone, tubular bells, bass drum, tam tam, suspended cymbal)