Gwyneth Walker

Sunshine State

for Woodwind Quintet (2014)

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Download a PDF file of the full score of this composition. This score may be printed and duplicated for the purposes of performances.

Download a PDF file of the instrumental parts of this composition.

The composer has enjoyed many happy visits to Florida - the "Sunshine State." However, musicians in any location may perform this suite, if they have a sunny disposition! Audiences in northern climates may particularly appreciate a (musical) touch of sun, especially during the Winter months.

A brief "Sunburst" introduces the first movement, Vitamin C. Perhaps the listener will hear vitamin-laden citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes in this upbeat, energetic music. The tonality of course is C Major. A solitary tangelo sings a tango in the middle section, with imagined lyrics of "I am a tangelo, bright orange, you know. I love to dance!" The opening vitamin leaps (octaves) return to conclude this movement.

A walk in the heat of the tropical afternoon can often turn into a Steamy Stroll. The tempo is leisurely. Perhaps a few strains of "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" might come to mind. A "walking bass" pattern is introduced in the bassoon. Heavily chromatic, this line slides along slowly. Blues harmonies add to the laziness of this afternoon stroll.

A tropical rum drink called the "Mango Fandango" inspired this dance movement. In keeping with the Spanish Fandango style, castanets (in the form of hand claps) accompany the playing. The horn (perhaps a matador in disguise!) is a particularly heroic figure, with a bravura introduction to the Fandango dance, and later, a castanet-clapping cadenza. Bravo!

The opening Sunburst returns briefly, leading to Sun and Sand. A Caribbean influence may be heard in the 7/8 meter, with rhythmic hand claps for extra energy. The opening section is marked "fun at the beach." And indeed the music bounces away playfully, as a beach ball!

Notes by the composer