March Transforms

Complete Work Title: 

March Transforms — a deconstruction of John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever"

Performance Medium: 

wind ensemble: piccolo, 3 flutes, 2 oboes, Eb clarinet, 3 Bb clarinets, Eb alto clarinet, Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, 3 Bb trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba, 6 percussion.




to Cindy Earnest and the UCSD Wind Ensemble

Date Composed: 

October 1985 - January 1986; revised December 1993

Additional Information: 
  • Featured work at the Virginia College Band Directors National Association "Symposium XII for New Band Music" (1987).
  • Grand Prize Winner, Third Annual Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Student Composition Competition (1989).

Performance/Broadcast History: 
  • 20 April 1999; Towson University (Towson, MD) — TU 20th Century Music Festival

    Towson University Symphonic Band; Dana Rothlisberger, conductor

  • 7 April 1994; Music Educators National Conference (Cincinnati, OH)
  • 6 April 1994; Northern Kentucky University (Highland Heights, KY)
  • 5 April 1994; Bedford-North Lawrence High School (Bedford, IN)
  • 5 April 1994; Jeffersonville High School (Jeffersonville, IN)
  • 4 April 1994; Meade County High School (Brandenburg, KY)
  • 4 April 1994; Bourbon County High School (Paris, KY)

    Morehead State University Symphony Band; Richard B. Miles, conductor

  • 15 March 1994; Morehead State University (Morehead, KY) — MSU New Music Festival

    Morehead State University Symphony Band; Joseph Klein, conductor

  • 15 October 1989; San Diego State University (San Diego, CA)

    SDSU Wind Symphony; Harold Warman, conductor

  • 7 February 1989; Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)

    Indiana University Symphonic Band; Ray E. Cramer, conductor

  • 11 November 1988; Northwestern University (Evanston, IL) — Midwest Composers Symposium

    Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble; John Paynter, conductor

  • 14 February 1987; Old Dominion University (Norfolk, VA) — Symposium XII for New Band Music

    Virginia Intercollegiate Band; Joseph Klein, conductor

  • 5 June 1986; University of California, San Diego
  • 2 March 1986; University of California, San Diego [premiere]

    UC San Diego Wind Ensemble; Cindy Earnest, conductor

Program Notes: 

March Transforms was composed between October of 1985 and January of 1986 for the UC San Diego Wind Ensemble at the request of the director, Cindy Earnest, to whom the work is dedicated. The work was first performed by that ensemble on 2 March 1986, and was subsequently selected by the Virginia Band Director's National Association for presentation at the "Symposium XII for New Band Music" in February of 1987. It has since been perfomed by several major university wind ensembles throughout the country. In 1989, March Transforms received the Grand Prize Award in the Third Annual Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonian Competition.

The structure of the work is based entirely upon that of John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever" March, evidenced (at least fundamentally) in nearly every aspect of the work's construction, including form, pitch, rhythm, and even instrumentation. The result is not so much a march in itself, as it is a distillation of the Sousa classic.