Overflowing joy, abundant cheerfulness: these are feelings a musician has upon winning spot in an All-State Band! In fact, any time a player reaches a musical goal, there is a feeling of accomplishment coupled with happiness. Music has a way of exhilarating us, not only through achieving short-range and long-range goals, but also from the sheer wonder of the art form itself.
Exhilaration was commissioned by the Association of Texas Small School Bands for performance by the 2005 All-State Band. It is set in ABA form. The first part of the piece is a jig, capturing a musicians exhilaration. It should be bright and cheerful, a dance of joy. The secondary theme that first appears at m. 45 looks and feels like 3/4 time. It can even be conducted that way, though it is critical that the eighth note pulse remains equivalent before and after passages that have that theme. Players will tend to rush this pattern.