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Grade 3 Playlist
Program notes and other information are below.
please scroll through the playlist  for your desired selections

All Through the Night

 In 1784 Edward Jones recorded on paper the current melody used in “All Through the Night.” Of anonymous origins, the melody probably dates back to the 1600’s, a Welsh folksong. Over the years there have been many lyrics written for this melody. The lyrics we sing today were written by Sir Harold Boulton in 1884.   J.G

A Time To Dance

An absolute delight.

Gregory W. Dick, Conductor

Charles Willis and Jeff Loud; Assistant Conductors

Composed for the Space Center Intermediate Symphonic Band

Ecclesiastes III

For everything there is a season,

and a time for every purpose under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant,

and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down,

and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Autumn Rose

Composed for Dr. Daniel P. Bolin in memory of his mother, Genell Bolin

     Like everyone's mom, my mom was the world's greatest. She was born in 1919 and lived to be 95, dying on September 11, 2014.

     She was born in the little town of Richardsville, KY. She was raised on a farm along with her brother and three sisters. My grandfather was the foreman for a very large farm that employed some 20 farmhands. By the age of ten mom was cooking meals for this group of hungry workers, a talent she had all her life.
   Holiday dinners were always a feast at our house and we hosted all of the family that lived in Indianapolis. She would make enough for an army including every pie imaginable (her peach cobbler was to die for).
     Mom was proud of the fact that she completed grade 10. In 1935, this would have been an unusual feat for a female in a rural farm town. Education was always important to her and she saw to it that this was instilled in her two boys. My brother became an engineer (rocket scientist for NASA), and I earned my doctorate and spent time as a high school band director, school administrator and chair of the School of Music at Butler University.
     She was always involved in seeing to it that we had what we needed and did what it took to allow us to participate in school activities. She was involved in PTA and with the All-City Orchestra Parents Organization. She volunteered for the Heart Fund and was even invited to the Governor's Home to be honored for her work.
    She moved to Indianapolis and worked in a dry cleaning plant. Her marriage to my father took her to New York City during World War II. That had to be a big change for a farm girl from a town of 100.
    Her work included being a tax appraiser, working as a grocery clerk and she spent her last years running a bakery store where she got to know everything about all of her customers. She would talk to them at length and find out about them while she told them about her boys and her family.
     Yes, she was quite a lady. Many miss her. I still think of her every day.

Dr. Daniel P Bolin

Before the Sun

Before the Sun is a descriptive piece about a large family who lives on a country farm. The piece focuses on all the emotional and physical events which happen before the sun rises and after it sets. The beginning of the piece opens with the ending hours of night. The first light from the farm house reflects off the morning dew. The family cats and dogs gather at the back door in anticipation of breakfast scraps and affections. Parents stand in their children's bedroom doorways, enjoying watching them sleep, waiting just an extra minute before beginning the day.
Measure 24 begins the build up to sunrise. The piano solo depicts the silence of not just the family, but of nature and the world itself, like one giant entity holding its breath in a moment of respect and awe waiting to experience the sunrise. Measure 33 starts the first rays of light and grows into the full glory of day with measure 43. This theme is the sun's theme. Daytime doesn't last long and fades out into measure 54, which begins the wind down of the day. The lullaby from 58 to 68 represents children falling asleep and exhausted parents doing likewise. The piece ends with a recap of the sun's theme as a promise of its return.

The Bench by the Sea

Commissioned by Adam Dalton and Susan Dalton in memory of their mother, Jody Fitzgerald Dalton Elliott

    To sit on a bench by the sea is to be at one with the wind, the waves and the world. It is a good place to watch people, smell the ocean air and wonder at the horizon. It is the perfect place to watch the sunrise and sunset.

     It is a place to think, a place to rest, and a place to question. It is a good place to come to terms with life, but mostly it is a place to just be.Jody loved to watch the water and loved concert band music. Now she has her own piece of music and will always have a bench by the sea.


Commissioned by the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 6 Band Directors,

Dedicated to our students who have stood strong through challenging times and keep music part of their lives.

Premiered during the PMEA 6 Band Festival at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School in

Hollidaysburg, PA, January 2022, Paula Crider, Conductor. 


Beyond the Gates, while programmatic, does not tell an exact or specific story. The music portrays what I, as the composer, imagined could be on the other side of that gated wall. Walls are meant to keep things in, or out. In this case, they are meant to keep things out that are very dangerous, deadly, or perhaps even evil. I am not going to describe exactly what I was imagining because they are my own demons and by leaving that detail out of the program notes, I hope to encourage the audience and listeners to imagine their own demons. So go ahead, conjure up your worst because I promise you, I depicted it with music.

* The original ending was deleted and rewritten at the request of Paula Crider, who will also conduct the premiere of this work.

Paula wanted some hope. She wanted there to be hope on the other side of that wall, at the end. I deleted my ending which was dark, short and captured an untimely death. Now, thanks to Paula, there is hope on the other side of that wall; there is an ending to this work which leaves us alive and safe from peril. She was right. The piece is better with this ending. It also goes to the point I am always trying to make which is, just because I am the composer, it doesn't mean I am always right about my own music. *

Beyond the Gates

The Grace in Being

Commissioned by the Sycamore School Band, Sycamore Schooll

Indianapolis, Indiana Candi Granlund, Director

Everybody deserves to be what they are meant to be. To be exactly how God made them.

This music was composed for all those who struggle with the oppression of this world, a world the has yet to embrace the differences inherent in each of us. Race, Religion, Sexual Orientation, these things and others should never be oppressed.

It is sad to think that so many in this world live with this oppression. We should stop dreaming of the day when this oppression is lifted and instead work each day to make it so. We each deserve the Grace to Be. 

In The Bleak Midwinter

Christina Rossetti composed a poem A Christmas Carol which was published in January of 1872. It has been set to music several times by various composers. This particular arrangement is based on the Gustav Theodore Holst's hymn setting titled Cranham, titled after Cranham, Glouchester, which was composed for the English Hymnal of 1906. Rossetti's lyrics envision the birth of Jesus in the middle of a cold winter, noting that only his mother worshiped him with a kiss.

Angels and Archangels, May have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim, Thronged the air;
But only His Mother, In her maiden bliss
Worshipped the Beloved, With a kiss.

This arrangement was inspired by these lyrics, focusing on both the intimacy between a mother and child, and that love, though freely given, has the greatest worth.

Let Your Spirit Sing

Let Your Spirit Sing was inspired by a concert by the Vienna Boys Choir. The entire concert I kept thinking to myself "if angels gave a concert, it would sound just like this." It was like Jesus was singing through those young boys. Several days after hearing that glorious concert while walking through the woods behind my house, I heard the melody for Let Your Spirit Sing. Sometimes melodies come to me accompanied by lyrics and this one did. I don't recall all the lyrics because I knew I would not be using them. I do remember the last 7 notes of the three main 16 measure phrases was always " Jesus is singing through me" and whenever I hear this piece, I always hear those words.

Mambo Perro Loco

Composed for the Grisham Middle School Band,

Betty Pierce, Conductor

Crazy Dog Mambo is an original musical collage of Spanish dance forms including the Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, the Flaminco,  the Fandango and various classical and folk dance styles all set in ¾ time. Traditional percussion instrumentation including the Frog Rasp and optional accordian further enhance the works ethnic color and rhythmic drive. Only a crazy dog could dance to this and get away with it.

March of the Sun Dried Tomatoes

This is the woeful tale of a day in the kitchen with a recipe that called for, among other things, sun-dried tomatoes and red wine. I like to think of myself as a cook, though I cannot convince many others of that fact, but had not encountered sun-dried tomatoes before. I had plenty of tomatoes growing in my little garden, and as hot as it was, there were a few on the vine that were almost dried already due to a little neglect on my part. Needless to say, after baking them to a crisp, which didn’t work, and microwaving them into oblivion, another disaster, the recipe was a complete failure and by the end of the day, a salami sandwich and a pickle was my fare. I know now you can buy sun-dried tomatoes in the store, but I will never partake of that particular recipe again.

Notes to the Conductor

The great contrasts in tempo and dynamics, not to mention the percussion parts, help to make this piece a wonderful crowd pleaser. Originally I composed this march so I could perform one with the many clinic bands that I conduct. There is never enough time for rehearsal, and working up a march to the level it needs to be takes too long, as you well know. So I wrote this piece as an easier march, that could be attained in a short amount of time. Much to my surprise, it has turned out to be a hands down crowd favorite and goes extremely well in a concert that is on the heavy side and perfect for Spring, encores and outdoor concerts.

The baritone saxophone is essential. You will note the fortissimo marking which brings its down beats to the forefront with an overstated, comical quality, which is what is intended. The percussion parts, excluding the snare, bass drum and crash cymbal parts, may all be substituted. The bird whistle is really a must. Try and have a good one on hand. The ones that you fill with water are good, however, they can sound more like a pterodactyl if the water level isn’t just right. "With great liberties" means exactly that. Feel free to move the tempo around during all but the truly march-sounding parts. It adds to the dramatic entrances of the full-fledged march sections and to the jocularity of the piece.

Mystery on Mena Mountain


This is a programmatic piece based on the legend told in the Ozark Mountains in Arkansas. The legend is based on the disappearance in 1940 of two children who had heard old stories, and went to the mountain to meet the angels believed to live in the clouds that hang above Mena Mountain.


"According to that legend, the children, having heard old stories, set out to meet the angels, who were believed to live in the clouds that hang in the sky above Mena Mountain. As the work opens, the sun is rising over the mountain top with the main theme representing the power of the mountain itself. The children begin their climb up the mountain. They continue climbing and begin to tire just as they reach the cloud line. The two wander through the foggy morning air and just as they are about to turn back, the mist clears and before them stand 200 white-robed angels, singing and playing golden instruments. The angels call out, entreating the children to join them. As the children walk on the clouds toward the host, a jeweled crown is placed on each child’s head, then they accompany the angels up to heaven. As the piece closes, the clouds rise and float slowly out of sight leaving Mena Mountain as it was before.” JG

Nearer My God to Thee

Composed for Wade McDonald's final retirement concert with the

Dickenson High School Band, Dickenson Texas.

    Wade and I have been friends for many years and when he told me he was retiring I wanted to do something special for him. I asked his wife for a short list of his favorite hymns and decided on "Nearer My God to Thee."


As I was arranging it, I could hear my grandmothers church, years ago singing it a capella, the way they held notes longer or shorter than it's actually written. I arranged it to reflect that so the piece changes from 4/4 to 3/4 at will. It is a free flowing arrangment with many ways to interpret it regarding ritards and so on. I did this arrangement harmonically my way because I knew Wade would expect nothing less.

All my love to Wade and his family.



This work is a programmatic journey that takes travels the length of the Ouachita River. Its beauty, its wonder and its history are the basis for this music. I grew up on the Ouachita River and with these notes, hopefully I have shown you some of its beauty!

Our Cast Aways

"For Those who rescue,  Those who get rescued and especially for Those whose rescue never comes."

Commissioned by the Bednarcik, Plank, Murphy, Thompson and Traughber Junior High School Bands of  School District 

#308, Oswego, Il, Rachel Maxwell, Coordinator. 


6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters every year and 2.4 million of these adoptable animals are put down. These numbers do not include the thousands who suffer in silence. Thanks to thousands of caring people, these numbers are steadily decreasing but we still have a long way to go. This work is dedicated to all all those who work hard in the fight to end puppy mills, to rescue suffering pets and to provide care and medical attention to all those rescued. It is dedicated to those companions who get rescued and for those whose rescue never comes.

We are all shepherds. Every living creature is in our care. Hopefully mankind will someday uphold his responsibility and become caretaker of all living things on earth. Maybe some day all humans will be humane and mankind will be kind.


The pictures of the rescued animals belong to people who are my friends on Facebook. Apparently, I keep great company when it comes to people who rescue & adopt animals who have been cast away. My own rescues are also in the photos.The published score will feature these beautiful rescues in full color.


Notes to the Conductor

From measures 1-31 and  45 to the end, this work is to be performed with NO breathing or breaks on bar lines and that ALL breaths should occur in a staggered, unnoticed fashion. ALL lines are doubled up enough that breathing should never be noticed or break phrases. The entire work should have the feeling of a seemless, living voice paying special attention to all dynamic and tempo markings. It should live and breath with shaped phrases. This work should sound like seamless emotions in motion.



These are the photos included with the score of the 614 pets rescued from my Face Book Friends.

You may download these photos for program and projection uses.

You can download with DROPBOX all 614 individual  AND the score collages HERE 

Strathcona Suite

Commissioned by the

Strathcona - Tweedsmuir Senior Band, Brian Uzick, Conductor



What Goes in the Night



Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. that has parishes instead of counties. Rich in historical flavor, the names of these parishes vary from French to American Indian in origin. Catahoula, Natchitoches, Calcasieu, Avoyelles, Plaquemines, Pointe Coupee and Tangipahoa Parishes are but a few. Nine of the parishes are named for saints, hence the title.

It is a state as colorful as its people and as beautiful as its wildlife. I have tried to capture the spirit and flavor of a few of these parishes with their plantations, farms, bayous, swamps and Cajun influence. This is a diverse work for an equally diverse state. It is where I grew up -- and where I will always call "home."


Where the Red Fern Grows

   Commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth High School Band,
Lindsey Kemp, conductor and the W. P. Wagner High School Band, Roberta Baril, conductor, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

   Inspired by the book Where the Red Fern Grows written by Wilson Rawls and published by Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 1961. A special thanks to the Rawls Family and Doubleday for letting me compose a work based on this classic, unforgettable book

- J.G.

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