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Grade 2 Playlist - Scroll through titles.

Program notes and other information are below.


Commissioned by the

Rising Starr Middle School Symphonic Band, Fayetteville, GA.

Steven Tyndall, conductor.

ama·ran·thine 1. of or relating to an amaranth. 2. Undying. 3. Of the color amaranth.


Amaranthine is an evolving song of passion, friendship and love. A programmatic work in the sense it is a musical description of what  you might hear while looking, thinking or reminiscing about the one you hold dearest to your heart. The work changes, grows and eventually reaches a rich and powerful climax representing a love that has been shared for most of an adult lifetime.  The work ends simply, quietly, like the holding of hands that were meant to be together sharing a love that is amaranthine.

The Bonsai Tree

Composed for the Scott County High School Symphonic Winds
Georgetown, Kentucky - Tom Brawner, Director

Sandai-Shogun no Matsu, a five-needle pine bonsai (Pinus pentaphylla var. negishi) is considered one of Japan’s national treasures. The tree is at least 500 years old and is considered to be one of the oldest known living bonsai trees. It is documented as having been cared for by Tokugawa Iemitsu (August 12, 1604 - June 8, 1651) who was the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. Sandai-Shogun no Matsu is housed in the Tokyo Imperial Palace."Although the center of this famous tree’s trunk is now totally hollow, it has been carefully nurtured for generations, and gazing at its gnarled form today, a sense of awe is felt at the forceful destiny that has allowed such a small piece of life to survive for so many centuries."

Dream Dancer

Commissioned by the Flat Rock Middle School Symphonic Band, Tyrone, Georgia
Deborah L. Baker, Conductor

A tranquil, lyrical introduction is followed by a lively, dance-like rhythmic section.  The syncopated feel adds to the interest and provides a great teaching opportunity for younger players.  The piece has an infectious quality about it that will both challenge and hold the interest of players at any level.

Percussion parts offer an opportunity for multiple players to show their abilities.

I'll be Home A'fore Ye


During my many months of researching for Culloden, I came across some information that literally haunted me for several years. Eventually, I had no choice but to put into music those feelings. We have all heard the saying: "You take the high road and I'll take the low road and I'll be home A'Fore ye. "


Pleasant enough. But very disturbing when you hear the origins from whence it came. During the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745 which ended in the Bloody Slaughter at Culloden, it was normal practice to round up the Scottish Lords/Landowners and put them to death British logic being "Cut off the head of the snake and the rest of it dies." The "heads" of these households, typically Fathers and Uncles and occasionally their oldest sons were rounded up and systematically put to death, usually by hanging.


In the Phrase, "You take the high road", it's referring to the path of the living "...and I'll take the low Road" refers to being dead and buried. The true historical meaning behind this saying is: Don't worry about me for I will be in heaven before you get back home.

The Little Sparrow

Commissioned by the Plymouth Whitemarsh Band Boosters, Inc.,

for the Plymouth Whitemarsh High School Concert Band, Tonia Asel Kaufman, Conductor 

Watching birds is one of my favorite pastimes. I have many bird feeders and watch them every day. The sparrows are my favorites. No flashy plumage, nor spectacular songs, but still my favorites. I wonder where they sleep at night. They seem so frail yet they thrive and endure the worst of weather. No matter how much noise is around me, it feels like I am watching them in complete silence. Their presence is calming and solefully beautiful.

While I was composing this work, I was reminded of this poem. And now, this poem reminds me of this music.

Only A Little Sparrow (Author unknown)

I’m only a little sparrow, A bird of low degree;

My life is of little value, But Jesus cares for me.

I just fold my wings at nightfall, Wherever I happen to be;

For He is always watching, And no harm can happen to me.

I am only a little sparrow, A bird of low degree;

At Night I peacefully Slumber, Because Jesus cares for me.

Wagon Trail

Premiered by the Rising Starr Middle School Symphonic Band Fayetteville, Georgia Steven Tyndall, Conductor.

Wagon Trail captures the flavor of the Wild West. Using a variety of percussion instruments including wood block, tambourine, suspended cymbal and snare drum, a forward-rolling motion is established. This piece also includes some excellent opportunities for counting.

When Country comes to Town

Commissioned by the Lakota West Freshman Concert Bandl, West Chester, Ohio

Tony Marinello, Conductor.

A whimsical tale of country folk in a big city for the first time.

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