The Septuagenarian March for Concert Band Level 4.5-5
When Dianne Olsen, Wayne Bowden’s partner, asked me to write a work to celebrate Wayne’s 70th birthday it was clear to me from the start that I was going to have a lot of fun composing this work. Wayne and I have been great mates for decades and we have so many similarities in our lives that it’s almost frightening. One clear similarity we have is our dedication to and curiosity about all things music. So, in this composition I decided to add ‘touches’ to the score that I knew Wayne would really appreciate…and would go ‘hunting for them’. So, for Wayne (and anyone else equally as curious): 1) I’ve based the main melodies on the letters of his name using a matrix of the alphabet alongside the musical alphabet; 2) I’ve added an all too infrequent V-VI Interrupted Cadence in a minor key (they’re everywhere in music literature in the major key, but not the minor key, so I’ve taken the opportunity to skew this oversight towards the minor key); 3) I’ve included a Neapolitan 6th; 4) a German 6th; 5) a Sequence; and 6) a Phrygian Cadence (Wayne and I have had many a chat about march composers and he’s well aware that my favourite march composer is Kenneth Alford, and my favourite march of all time is Army of the Nile. I’ve nicked the Phrygian Cadence from Army of the Nile and added it into this march just for my fun and hopefully, for Wayne’s amusement).
Dianne asked if I could utilise the tune of Happy Birthday in some way. Now, this was a tough thing to do because it’s such a well-known and simple tune that to place it in the music as it ‘stands’ would potentially create a tawdry musical outcome, so, apart from the obvious usage of the tune in the introduction, I’ve ‘hidden’ it within the notes on a number of occasions. I also managed to squeeze the year Wayne was born into the notes. The year, 1952, gives me a root, 9th, 5th and supertonic. This figure features mainly in the basses:
Finally, I couldn’t help myself, but I added a real ‘Lloyd-ism’ and that’s the three-part counterpoint figure that commences at bar 121 and climaxes on a V-VI interrupted cadence…in the major key, this time.
The score will be personalised for your band and emailed to you as a PDF ready for you to print off