Concerto for Harp and Wind Ensemble (2016)

Duration: ca. 20′
Instrumentation: Solo Harp and Wind Ensemble
Commissioned by Tasha Smith Godinez, Shannon Kitelinger, and the SDSU Wind Symphony

In February 2014, I had the pleasure of meeting harpist Tasha Smith Godinez, a wonderful player in San Diego. She was playing a different piece of mine – Despite the Shadows – in its world premiere. Several months later, she asked me if I’d be interested in writing a piece for her to solo with the San Diego State Wind Symphony, as she’s had a long working relationship with SDSU conductor Shannon Kitelinger but felt the repertoire for solo harp and wind ensemble was somewhat lacking. That summer, the three of us met and started working out what this piece might be. I started work in earnest in the Summer of 2015, and completed sometime around February 2016.

Though they are performed without break, there are six distinct parts. The “Prologue” is a short trio for flute, harp, and snare drum, setting up all the materials that will be developed for the rest of the piece. “Parts I and II” take this material and push it further, with the ensemble acting initially as an extension of the harp’s resonance before it breaks away. “Interlude” is an unusual septet of oboe, contrabass clarinet, contrabassoon, harp, trumpet, tuba, and triangle. “Cadenza” follows “Part II” with a moment of freedom for the harp, lightly accompanied by clarinet, flute, and vibraphone. The closing “Epilogue” is a reorchestration of the prologue for the ensemble, and the harp is not heard at all.


May 3, 2016 – San Diego, CA (world premiere)
Tasha Smith Godinez, harp
Shannon Kitelinger, conduction
San Diego State University Wind Symphony