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To Walk with Wings

Commissioned and Premiered by

The United States Air Force Academy Band

Colonel Bruce Gilkes, Conducting


To Walk With Wings, Fanfare & Overture, is a musical epic of man’s quest for flight. From the early beginnings of cloth and wooden wings through the exploration of space, this highly programmatic piece takes the listener on a musical tour through aeronautic history.


It captures mental images of men jumping off cliffs with fabric wings, the first true flight, trials and errors, the comical age of contraptions, the cold, brutal strength of fabricated metal machines, the whirring of the computer age, the tragedy of the Space Shuttle Challenger, and the overall spirit of man and his desire to travel through space and beyond.


Though the piece tells the tale of the mastering of flight, the real driving force behind the music is found in the questions: "Who are we?" and "What is out there?"


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