City of Angels

Have you ever had a near miss at a traffic light?  Have you ever felt like someone or something was there to protect you?  Have you ever felt like you were being watched over?  Composer and arranger John Fischer takes us through these questions.

We could live in a world where angels are watching over us everyday, even thought we are never aware.  Protecting us and guiding us.  However, not all angels could be sent to do that, as they may have more sinister plans.  And the struggle for control is happening without us even realizing, as humans, that it is going on.

Difficulty - Medium Hard     Grade - 4

*Rights Required to perform 'Heaven' by LAMB and 'Angels in the Architecture' by Frank Ticheli.

Public Domain pieces of 'Ave Maria' and 'Old 100th' do not require rights.

Preshow - 'Heaven' by LAMB (Rights Required)

'This could be heaven right here on Earth.'  Fast paced, modern, and driving, 'Heaven' sets the tone for the show in the front ensemble with a rock-style waltz.  Full harmonic sets and running keyboard parts will warmup the percussionists and give a great opportunity to set the visual and thematic program.

Mvt. I - 'Angels in the Architecture' by Frank Ticheli (Rights Required)

A beautiful saxophone solo gives the piece an angelic start, but it quickly turns from there as the soloist holds the last note.  The percussion enters, along with chaotic themes from the winds building into the first ensemble statement.  Complex and dissonant harmonies combine with complex rhythms that play around a repeated main theme.  It is a very dark and driving piece, painting the picture of a world that is sometimes a dark place to live.  Or perhaps, is it a struggle between two different types of angels?

Mvt. II - 'Ave Maria' by Franz Schubert

A brief introduction from 'Angels in the Architecture' gives way to the gorgeous and well-known 'Ave Maria' by Franz Schubert.  When times are difficult, and it feels that we cannot go on, something can push us through....something we cannot exactly see or hear, but something gives us strength.  This wind and keyboard arrangement features many moving counter melodies, which makes the already beautiful piece perfect for the field.

Mvt. III - 'Old 100th' traditional hymn, 'Angels in the Architecture' by Frank Ticheli (Rights Required)

Angels also have their place in the church, being reverent and having a profound holiness to them.  Taking Ticheli's use of the 'Old 100th' hymn from his piece and expanding on it, we hear the very church-like sounds of the traditional hymn, but with a very powerful scoring.  A turn into a more subtle and minor development brings back another angelic saxophone solo, which leads up to a recapitulation of the 'Angels in the Architecture' theme heard at the beginning of the second movement, this time as a large and full statement.