Sakura Sakura is perhaps the most famous of all Japanese folksongs. It is recognized throughout the world. This setting was done as a gift from Ray Cramer to the Musashino Academia Musicae and the student members of their fine wind ensemble. Within a few months after the premiere, the manager of the wind ensemble, Koichi Onodera, died at an all too early age. He loved this setting and the piece brought him tears with each hearing. During Cramer's stay in Tokyo, while working with the wind ensemble, Cramer and Onodera developed a very close friendship. Cramer greatly admired Onodera's intense loyalty and dedication to the school and the students. Ray Cramer felt it was only fitting that this work be dedicated to his memory. The setting is very Japanese in style, character and timbre. Take great care in carefully balancing the band, to insure that all moving lines are clearly heard at all times. Enjoy!
- Composer: Ray Cramer