Gregory Blues for full wind ensemble


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octatonic scales; blues scales; American Prize


When I began writing this piece, my intent was that it would be scored for string quartet. However, as the compositional materials presented themselves on paper, and as the opportunity for a wind ensemble performance arose, my perception of the work changed to fit such parameters. As with many of my works, Gregory Blues is made up of the reconciliation of styles that, at first glance, may appear to be in opposition to each other; Gregorian chant, known for its reverence and intensity, is blended with the looser and perhaps "irreverent" styles of blues and jazz. Yet a third element is derived from the properties shared by both the octatonic (alternating full and semi-tones) and blues scales.

Gregory Blues was premiered by Rodney Winther and the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony on November 5, 2005. It was selected as the winning entry for the 2017-18 American Prize (Band/Wind Ensemble division).