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Heroes: A Symphonic Fanfare (Brass band)

Heroes: A Symphonic Fanfare (Brass band)

Allen, Stephen Arthur


  • Ensemble: Brass Band
  • Genre: Modern Classical
  • Grade: 4
  • Duration: 7.0 minutes
  • Catalog Number: AOS104

"Heroes: A Symphonic Fanfare" began life as a commission from a Christian group in London, England, and actually has a optional sung text. (This can be made available on request). Heroes pictures a spiritual journey with attendant adventures, beginning from and returning to 'home'. The big triadic opening is inspired by 'Lord Melbourne (War Song)' from Percy Grainger's band masterpiece 'A Lincolnshire Posy'. It is a summons to spiritual warfare (Note: NOT physical warfare) and combines masculine and feminine traits - Heroines step up to the plate! The first fast section depicts speeding through the Arizona desert on a quad, in a manner inspired by that great movie composer John Williams, with occasional reminders of 'home' punctuating the excitement. Then comes the percussion bonanza. Our hero is now in Mexico, or at least an Englishman's idea of Mexico! A [Leonard] Bernstein-like riff leads into a big-city festival, a real celebration, with a touch of Maynard Ferguson to boot! Finally our hero returns home, now transformed by these life-experiences (sonata form to the rescue!). The good news is, true spiritual heroes never ultimately die, they simply blast off into eternity, as ours does in this 'up, up and away' coda.

Heroes can either be played straight, or can include (ideally no more than) two 8 or 16-bar jazz improvisation solos during the riff section. Also, depending on the event, there is the possibility of a real party breaking out during the touch-down in Mexico! (If all of the percussion parts cannot be included, the cowbell, timpani and bass drum will provide the basic rhythmic outline. Just make it hot!) If the band and audience are forewarned to bring their own simple percussion instruments with them to join in the fiesta jam-session, so much the better! If time allows, a little audience rehearsal would not be amiss. Just ask everyone to drop the volume when the riff begins. Either way, get everyone whooping and hollering just before the riff, and have fun.

The MP3 is not a great performance but gives a good idea of the piece.

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