Soaring was composed in the summer of 2003, shortly after I completed doctoral studies at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. The idea for this piece came to me while traveling in northern Missouri, during a roundabout sightseeing trip from Indiana to my hometown of Rochester, Minnesota. Both the surroundings and the relaxed atmosphere of one of my favorite activities, taking an improvisatory road trip through rural landscapes, inspired the mood of the composition. The preliminary sketch for the piece was completed during subsequent travels throughout the Midwest that summer.
The composition is cast in a traditional scherzo-and-trio form, with a more relaxed middle section. While I did not attempt to programmatically depict nature scenes, my hope was to capture the mood of soaring in this music - of a soaring bird, of the soaring green vistas of Midwestern landscapes in June, of the soaring of ones spirit as one delights in the beauty of ones experience of these scenes and images.
Performance notes. The oboe solos beginning at mm. 48, 168, and 406 are cued in the Clarinet 1 part. If an oboe player is unavailable, these solos may be performed by a clarinet soloist. (A second solo clarinetist may perform the Oboe 2 part starting at m. 168 if a second oboist is not available.) From mm. 173-201, the Horn 1 & 2 parts are cued in the Horn 3 & 4 parts. The Horn 3 & 4 parts may be added if their addition would result in better balance. The bassoon parts in mm. 259-267 and 348-355 are cued in other parts.