Shafts of Sunlight Through Stained Glass Windows, Op. 15

for Antiphonal Brass & Percussion

LEFT GROUPING: Trumpet in Bb (or C), Horn in F, Trombone

MIDDLE GROUPING: Xylophone, Vibraphone, Claves

RIGHT GROUPING: Trumpet in Bb (or C), Horn in F, Trombone

Op. 15, 2019

Duration: 4.5m

Premiered March 2021 at my graduate recital

  • Shafts of Sunlight Through Stained Glass Windows

Shafts of Sunlight was born of the idea of mimicking through music the way light is scattered into its component frequencies when passing through a window or prism. The opening “scattered” chords is the scattering of sunlight, and throughout the piece, we hear different colors and different interpretations of this idea represented through music.

Structurally, the piece works through the diatonic circle fifths (while visiting a couple of other keys for tonal variety) before returning to a “lifted” (now in Lydian mode) and “timeless” (unaccompanied by percussion) reprise of the opening scattered chords.

It's seven sections (the eighth section being a varied reprise of the first), are like taking a tour through a cathedral in the shape of a cross, experiencing the unique way sunlight passes through the stained glass windows of each wall as the day progresses.

Performance Notes:

This piece would work wonderfully in a cathedral, a wide concert stage, or an open atrium. A conductor is highly recommended due to the non-intuitive rhythmic interactions.