This work was commissioned by Ms. Celeste Shearer for the H. E. Charles Middle School Concert Band in El Paso, Texas and it is dedicated to her and her husband Jim. The majority of the melodic material in this composition is taken from authentic sailor songs, or shanties. A shanty was a work song originating in the days of sailing ships. These songs were used by the sailors to help ensure rhythmic unanimity as they pulled on ropes or did other work which required that they all pull together. Shenandoah and What Shall We Do With a Drunken Sailor? are famous examples.
Perfomance Notes: In Movement I, the grace notes which appear in measures 8 and 9, and measures 28 and 29 should come before the beat. Throughout the piece, the only percussion part that is at all essential is the bell part. The other percussion parts may be used or omitted at will. Scoring of the piece was done with small bands and bands with incomplete instrumentation in mind. Therefore, the alto sax parts and the F horn parts are almost identical, also the tenor sax and baritone parts are written this way. So, if large numbers of saxes, horns, and baritones are present, some adjustments may need to be considered.