2019’s Large Ensemble Giveaway: Here Be Dragons and People Talk

Folks, it’s back-to-school time again, and I know many of my ensemble director friends are knee-deep in planning their seasons. Last fall, I had a great experience with the giveaway process for strength in all things, so this year, I’m going to do it again—but this time, you can take home two pieces if you’d like. Like last year, the idea’s the same: you can take home the pieces for free if you program one (or both) of them in 2019 or 2020. (A personal suggestion? If you’ve got the performers for it, an election year would be a great time to program People Talk.)

The first piece I’m offering up is my latest wind ensemble work, Here Be Dragons. Commissioned by Denton Grant for the Allendale High School Wind Ensemble, this is a grade 4 piece that takes audiences on a journey through uncharted waters, “contrasting the ethereality of the unknown with the brashness of a confident explorer.” (Look at me, quoting my own performance notes!) Here Be Dragons uses a limited number of simple polyrhythms and extended techniques (think toneless-air-through-the-horn, not split-tones-and-bassoon-reeds); it’s designed to be a great introduction to nonstandard techniques for inquisitive groups. This piece features several prominent but short woodwind solos, particularly in Oboe 1 and Flute 1. It runs about 4’40”, and you can listen to the Allendale High School Wind Ensemble perform it below:

See the perusal score here.

The second work you can take home for your ensemble is People Talk, which is different in almost every way. This piece is scored for symphony orchestra and narrator (I also have a chamber orchestra and narrator version; if you need this one, email me and I’ll make sure it gets to you). People Talk is part of Letters from the Aftermath, my pseudo-opus addressing sexual assault and rape culture, and it explores the pressure we place on victims to come forward despite knowing in many cases they will face hatred, disbelief, and mockery for it. It’s very angry, but in a controlled way (as most of my friends will tell you, I know exactly where to twist the knife in works like this one). People Talk is ungraded at this point in time; it is certainly achievable by a college group, perhaps an advanced high school ensemble, but it is difficult. A significant number of extended techniques are used, especially bassoon reeds in brass mouthpieces (which is pretty easy to teach and accomplish) and string overpressure (which can be . . . perhaps more difficult), and you’ll see polyrhythms in a few spots (there are fivelets in this one). People Talk is also a monster of a piece; it runs about 15’30”. Listen to the world premiere, presented in the chamber orchestra format, here:

See the perusal score for the symphony orchestra version here and the chamber orchestra version here.

If either (or both!) of the above pieces interest you, here’s how you get them:

  1. Sign up for my mailing list. You’ve probably already seen the pop-up on my website, but if you missed it, click here. (If you’re already on my mailing list, look out for an email about how to get yours.)
  2. During the sign-up process, you’ll see a bunch of check-boxes where you can tell me which piece you want (or that you want both). Fill out the form accordingly and submit it.
  3. If you’re looking for the chamber orchestra version of People Talk, please drop me an email at megan [dot] dejarnett [at] gmail [dot] com so I can make sure you get the right version.
  4. I’m going to be sending out the complete sets of scores and parts on October 1. In the event that you desperately need yours earlier than that, please drop me a line—I’m happy to accommodate if possible, but I’m still cleaning parts, so I can’t guarantee anything earlier.
  5. When you do perform the piece(s), please let me know! If you give me a heads up, I’ll shout you out on my events calendar and social media. Even if you can’t, though, please send me a program for my own records (PDF is fine).

If you run into any problems or have questions during the process, let me know! I’m happy to help however I can. I can’t wait to get my music into your hands! ♦

Thanks for reading! To follow my ramblings and creative process in real time, or to support the work I do as an artist and advocate, you can find me on Patreon and @ordinarilymeg on Instagram.

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