Gwyneth Walker


for Brass Ensemble and Percussion (1992)

Return to Gwyneth Walker Music Catalog

View/download a perusal PDF file of the full score of this orchestral work.

Commissioned by the Orleans County Historical Association and the Vermont Town Brass in celebration of the Old Stone House.

Jubilee was composed specifically in celebration of the Old Stone House, a magnificently-crafted school dormitory constructed in Brownington, Vermont in 1836. This building still stands today, highlighting the spectacular landscape or Orleans County (Northeast) Vermont.

A focal point of the community, the Old Stone House not only attracts many visitors, but also serves as a source of pride and history for the local residents. Thus, the Orleans County Historical Association has commissioned special music for brass and percussion, Jubilee, to honor the schoolhouse. The premiere performance was given directly in front of the Old Stone House.

The opening movement "Let in the Light", may be heard as a general fanfare of a celebratory nature. More specifically (programmatically), it is a musical portrayal of the joyous raising of the window shades (complete with "snapping-up" sounds) in the stone boarding-house when visitors arrive.

"Elegy at Twilight" is simply a lyrical movement which unfolds slowly, perhaps reflective of the spatial openness of the Orleans County landscape. This movement is written in memory of Alexander Twilight, the schoolmaster and builder of the Old Stone House. The recurrent rhythmic pattern in the music is a recitation of his name.

"Many Voices" speaks of the students who once filled the schoolhouse. This movement is subtitled "all the many voices of the students still echo in the halls." No doubt the Old Stone House, now so elegant and peaceful, was once the site of playfulness and mischief as well as scholarly pursuits!

This movement might also have been subtitled "students at recess", for the playful and impudent spirit of the music is brought to a halt with the ringing of a schoolbell. Since the students do not want to stop their play, it takes several ringings of the bell to actually bring "Many Voices" to a conclusion.

Notes by the composer