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commissioned by Robert C. Hunter and the
William G. Enloe Band Program, Raleigh, North Carolina
Arlington Anthem
Drew Fennell, composer


Reflections

Each year on Veterans Day, the William G. Enloe High School Band (a music magnet school in Raleigh, NC) does an outdoor performance on the steps of the state capitol of North Carolina. For the 2006 performance, Robert Hunter, band director at Enloe, asked me to write a piece - something patriotic and nationalistic, evocative of America. I searched for a time to discover a subject and settled on the Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

This takes me back to a school field trip I took in high school. We went to Washington D.C. Somehow, in just a day's time, we managed to see everything and nothing at the same time (I think you probably know exactly what I mean). One thing on that trip, however, has stayed with me to this day and will affect me for the rest of my life; and that is my first sight of Arlington National Cemetery. I was very sad and extremely proud at the same time. To know that many of the people interred there died young is a sobering thought. But to understand that those interred there so selflessly stood side-by-side with their brothers in arms to preserve the idea of America (not to mention protecting all of us who are so lucky to live here) makes me so proud. It makes me proud of America, but also hopeful for humanity that these young people were so altruistic.

I tried to integrate the two feelings I mentioned above (sadness and pride) into the piece. There are passages reminiscent of "taps" and drumming which evokes military images. Sometimes phrases are truncated - snare drum rudiments which end without completion, reminding us of lives cut short by war. Still, as the piece progresses, the melody lengthens each time; this I mean to represent the hope that these fallen soldiers will live on through the flourishing of the nation.

To date, this may be the simplest of the pieces I have composed, but for me it is also the most poignant.

  • Arlington Anthem is published by Drew Fennell Publishing.
    Available for Wind Band and Brass Band.

  • View the full conductor's score of Arlington Anthem [wind band version]*.

  • View the full conductor's score of Arlington Anthem [brass band version]*.

  • Hear Arlington Anthem in a live performance (complete) by the Carnegie Mellon Pre-College Wind Ensemble, Drew Fennell, Conductor [wind band version]*.

  • Hear Arlington Anthem in a live performance (complete) by the Slippery Rock University Brass Ensemble, Brian Meixner, Conductor [brass band version]*.

  • Hear Arlington Anthem in a live performance (complete) by the River City Youth Brass Band, Drew Fennell, Conductor [brass band version]*.

*Right click on the link and choose Save Target As... to download the file.

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Program Notes

The primary image depicted in Arlington Anthem is a scene with thousands of perfectly aligned gravesites at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, juxtaposed with an ironically similar scene of thousands of soldiers standing stock-still at attention in rank and file. This piece is meant to honor the sacrifice of the many fallen soldiers who fought bravely throughout history, enduring trials I cannot begin to imagine, so that their countrymen might live in peace.

Duration: approximately 4 min. 45 sec.

Drew R. Fennell
(October 26, 2006)

  • View an unformatted text version of these program notes, suitable for use in concert programs*.

*Right click on the link and choose Save Target As... to download the file.

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Wind Band Instrumentation

Woodwinds
Piccolo
1st Flute
2nd Flute
1st Oboe
2nd Oboe
Bassoon
1st Clarinet in Bb
2nd Clarinet in Bb
3rd Clarinet in Bb
Bass Clarinet in Bb
Contra-Alto Clarinet in Eb
Contra-Bass Clarinet in Bb
1st Alto Saxophone in Eb
2nd Alto Saxophone in Eb
Tenor Saxophone in Bb
Baritone Saxophone in Eb
Brass
1st Trumpet in Bb
2nd Trumpet in Bb
3rd Trumpet in Bb
1st Horn in F
2nd Horn in F
3rd Horn in F
4th Horn in F
1st Trombone
2nd Trombone
3rd Bass Trombone
Euphonium T.C. or B.C.
Tuba




Percussion
(4 or 5 players)
Timpani
Percussion includes:
glockenspiel
chimes
suspended cymbal
snare drum









Arlington Anthem is heavily cued and may be effectively performed without the piccolo, oboes, bassoon, contra clarinets, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone or a full complement of horns. Doubling is ideal for some parts, but it is certainly not required.

Brass Band Instrumentation

Brass
Soprano Cornet in Eb
Solo Cornet in Bb
1st Cornet in Bb
Repieno Cornet in Bb
2nd Cornet in Bb
3rd Cornet in Bb
Flugelhorn in Bb
1st Horn in Eb
2nd Horn in Eb
3rd Horn in Eb

1st & 2nd Baritone
1st Trombone
2nd Trombone
3rd Bass Trombone
1st & 2nd Euphonium
1st & 2nd Tuba in Eb
3rd & 4th Tuba in Bb



Percussion
(3 or 4 players)
Timpani
Percussion includes:
glockenspiel
chimes
suspended cymbal
snare drum



*Parts for Horn in F as well as parts for Baritone, Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba in bass clef also available.

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