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The Wind Through the Heather Brass Quintet (Ryan Meeboer)

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The Wind Through the Heather Brass Quintet (Ryan Meeboer)

GRADE 1 - 2

The heather is one of the national flowers of Scotland. This purple flower flourishes in the damp, rainy weather of Scottish moorland, glens and hills. 

The piece opens with the instruments imitating the drone of the bagpipes. The main melody, running from measures 2 to 9, is simple yet carries enough motion to be memorable for audiences. Throughout this melody the drone must remain constant so performers need to properly stagger breathe to not leave any gaps. As breaths are taken, be sure the re-entries are smooth, without a definite tongue so it is gentle and not noticed by listeners.

At measure 10, the piece becomes more complex, as all instruments enter and the drone is replaced by changing harmonies. The main melody and its harmony need to balance with each other, with the new countermelody standing out a little more. Likewise, as the piece moves into the bridge at measure 18, the call and response melodic material should be kept well balanced. From measures 18-21, all pitches in the bass line need to be sustained, as performers may feel the need to add a little bounce to the eighth notes.

The bridge ends by building into a recap of the material from measures 10-17. Keep this final section strong until measure 33, when the piece dies off to recreate the opening feel of the piece.