Wind Ensemble – Stifled Mystery

Stifled Mystery was written in collaboration with a good friend of mine who is a band director and music educator. Click here to read an article about the premiere performance he conducted. It is designed to be a challenging and lengthy work for high school wind ensemble. However, it can of course be played convincingly by a collegiate wind ensemble as well. Being approximately eleven minutes long, this work is intellectually challenging and engaging for both a wind ensemble and its audience.

Typically, I write with an extra-musical agenda in mind. This piece, however, was written with no specific meaning until the latter stages of development. I decided on the title when I realized that it sounds as if the music is attempting to say something very profound. However, the meaning is being blocked from view by something within myself. While this can be enjoyed simply as a series of pleasing sounds put together, there is a deeper meaning that demands to be sought. It is difficult to seek this meaning, but we must because it is life changing. That said, this wind ensemble piece hauntingly reminds me of my own reaction to the Gospel of Jesus in my darker moments. Throughout this work you will hear a theme that will not be fully revealed until the end of the work. Listen to the main theme as it weaves itself into the texture and tries to tell you the mystery for what it is.

The Mystery has the power to preserve life
We’ve forgotten that we die
 We’ll seek the meaning tomorrow…

Download the mp3 of this video

Download score and parts (PDF) ($114.99)
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Sample scoreSample parts

The download includes 8.5×11 and 11×17 versions of the score depending on you preference and/or accessibility to a large enough printer.

Additional information

Difficulty: Grade 4 or 5


Flute 1
Flute 2
Clarinet 1
Clarinet 2
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

Trumpet 1
Trumpet 2
Horn 1
Horn 2
Trombone 1
Trombone 2

Minimum: 4 players
4 Timpani (32” 29” 26” 23”)
Marimba (Mrb.)
Vibraphone (Vib.)
Snare Drum (S.Dr.)
Bass Drum
2 Suspended cymbals** (Sus. Cym.)
Crash cymbals (Crash Cyms.)

All parts should be played by multiple performers at the wind ensemble conductor’s digression.

*In the absence of a bassoon, the part can be played by other instruments as specified by cues that are distributed throughout the ensemble (both parts and score).
**There are several places where the percussionist playing snare drum is required to move between snare drum and suspended cymbal. The two players (snare and cymbal) may share a cymbal if necessary.

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