Wind EnsembleHard4:00

Shadow Rituals

“…highly rhythmic…”

Listen to Shadow Rituals

Performed by the Arizona State University Wind Ensemble
Conductor Matthew Luttrell

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Shadow Rituals

Program Note

By Michael Markowski

I can remember sitting in my junior high school band reading through my first Frank Ticheli piece; I remember it because I found his style so unlike the other arrangements and “standards” that we performed. Now, several years later, I realize the remarkable inspiration Ticheli’s music has made on my own writing and growth as a musician.

Because of this, Shadow Rituals was written particularly for the Manhattan Beach Music Frank Ticheli Composition Contest and I dedicate it humbly to Frank Ticheli.

A few comments on conducting are in order: tempo is very important to maintaining the energy of the piece. Particularly for the first 45 measures it might be helpful to conduct using “small beat patterns,” that is, relatively tiny conducting gestures for the quarter notes, and somewhat larger conducting gestures for the main beats. There is more than one possible approach: you can conduct quarter, quarter, quarter, half to emphasize the 3+2 nature of many of the 5/4 measures. Since the contrapuntal accompanying lines will not always be in the same rhythmic pattern as the melodic lines, you will need to consider both the overall effect of the lines’ relationships to one another, and each line’s rhythmic detail to best reach your own interpretation. Most important, you must strike to keep the intensity and tempo at an exciting and consistent level.

For the calmer section (measures 82-116), it seems appropriate to conduct in a “halftime” feelthat is, conducting only the stronger beats. The same will work for the climax (measure 152-168), which should be conducting in “one.”


Manhattan Beach Music


Winds: Piccolo, Flute 1 & 2, Oboe 1 & 2, Bassoon 1 & 2, B-flat Clarinet 1-3, B-flat Bass Clarinet, Alto Saxophone 1 & 2, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone

Brass: B-flat Trumpet 1-3, Horn 1-4, Trombone 1-3, Euphonium, Tuba

Percussion: Timpani; P1) Tam-Tam, Suspended Cymbal; P2) Bongos (shared with P3), Snare Drum, Slapstick (shared with P4 & P5), Tambourine; P3) Low Tom-Tom, Glockenspiel, Bongos (shared with P2), Sleigh Bells; P4) Cabasa, Brake Drum, Slapstick (shared with P2 & P5), Crash Cymbals; P5) Bass Drum, Slapstick (shared with P2 & P4), Wind Chimes


No known errata.

Year Completed




Wind Ensemble