easy | 2 minutes

performed by Austin Brake and the Manvel Junior High Concert Band


Program Notes

Echo was commissioned by Kristopher Walls and was my first commission as a composer. I had just finished my first semester of college when Kristopher had approached me about writing a piece for his elementary band. Excited about the prospect of writing for a young ensemble and not having much experience writing for young bands, I contemplated what I wanted this piece to sound like. Early in the creative process, I decided that I wanted to move away from homophonic/unison parts and introduce students to independent parts. Thus, the idea was born that this piece would focus more on motives and their development rather than a theme. The most important motive of all being the “echo” motive introduced in the first bars of the piece.

In my original program notes, I had written about how Echo was intended to be a beginner band piece. Several years later after having the piece performed a few times and being a much more experienced composer and teacher, I realized that this piece was rather challenging for the level that I had originally intended it be. I decided to rework the piece and make it a more suitable fit for a more experienced ensemble. After expanding the instrumentation and re-orchestrating some parts, I found that the piece was rather suitable for the non-varsity middle school band that I currently teach. The new edition of Echo was premiered by the Manvel Junior High Concert Band on May 7, 2016.

Austin Brake
June 2016
Friendswood, Texas