Wind EnsembleMedium5:00

Sunny-Side Up

“…the musical caffeine flowing through our melodies makes the notes perk up loudly, sometimes obnoxiously so…”

Listen to Sunny-Side Up

Performed by the California State University, Fullerton University Band (all-campus non-major band)
Conductor Marc R. Dickey

View Sample Score


Program Note

By Michael Markowski

Rachael Ray is on the TV. She’s the guest cook on some network morning show and she’s teaching the studio audience how to make the perfect fried egg. So she cracks a couple eggs into the pan, makes a little endearing small-talk with the audience while the eggs lightly sizzle, grabs her bright green spatulas and flips the eggs over onto a plate. They aren’t burned. The yolk isn’t broke. Somehow, they’re perfect.

The studio audience goes crazy with applause. They have been dazzled! They have been wowed! The camera cuts to their reactions: their smiles are curtained wide open and their minds have been completely blown by this early morning kitchen wizardry. All over the perfect fried egg.

An egg.

I am not a morning person. I wish I was, but I need a serious amount of coffee before my body has enough energy to hoist my cheeks into something even resembling a smile. Actually, I think I’m a bit envious of morning people. Their optimism is something we love to hate on when the rest of us can barely get one grumpy leg out of bed, but this optimism is also kind of aspirational. It’s something to strive for.

Okay, Sunny-Side Up is not really about eggs. It’s a piece full of energy and anticipation. From the very first measure, we’re up and at ‘em! We’re flying fast after our early morning worm, pecking the ground incessantly in search of our breakfast. The musical caffeine flowing through our melodies makes the notes perk up loudly, sometimes obnoxiously so. They even get a bit twitchy as the piece unfolds. Aside from this morning rush, I think this piece is an homage to morning people. It’s an ode to the cockeyed optimistic and is dedicated to people who always ‘look on the sunny-side’ of life no matter what time it is or how many yolks might break along the way.

Sunny-Side Up premiered on November 9, 2018 in Bountiful, Utah with the Viewmont High School Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band with special guest performers from Centerville Junior High School and Bountiful Junior High, Dan Chaston, conductor.

Commissioned By

Bountiful Jr. High School
Lorrina Allred

Centerville Jr. High School
Spencer Frohm

Hillcrest High School
Austin Hilla

Mueller Park Jr. High School
Adam Wayman

San Jacinto High School
Andrew Vaughn

Somersworth High School
Matt LaGarde

Tooele High School
Orien Landis

Viewmont High School
Dan Chaston

Willowcreek Middle School
Dave Faires & Lea Nelson


Sunny-Side Up premiered on November 9, 2018 at Viewmont High School (Bountiful, Utah) performed by the Viewmont High School Symphonic Band conducted by Dan Chaston.

View program here.


Markowski Creative (ASCAP)


Piccolo (doubling Flute)
Flute 1 & 2
B-flat Clarinet 1 -3
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1 & 2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

B-flat Trumpet 1 & 2
Horn 1 & 2
Trombone 1 & 2

Percussion 1: Timpani
Percussion 2: Glockenspiel, Crash Cymbal
Percussion 3: Xylophone
Percussion 4: Marimba, Shaker
Percussion 5: Temple Blocks, Cabasa, Suspended Trash Cymbal, Suspended Cymbal, Cowbell
Percussion 6: Snare Drum, Cowbell
Percussion 7: Bass Drum


No known errata.

Year Completed


Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A


Wind Ensemble