It Might Mean a Thing
for Saxophone Quartet, Brass, and Percussion
Our wind ensemble at the University of Tulsa had the honor of being selected to perform at the 2018 CBDNA Southwest Regional convention - planned to be on the program was John Mackey's "Songs from the End of the World," which is scored for chamber winds, percussion, and solo soprano. We then commissioned an alumnus of the university to create a work for saxophones, brass, and percussion to complement the Mackey, which he titled "Character Arc."
As we continued the rehearsal process on the above piece, I began to wonder what I might do if given the same assignment. To me, using saxophones and brass suggests jazz, so I created this 6 minute piece which is heavy in jazz inflection and swing elements, at times layered alongside other themes which are played "legit." There's a stomp section, call-response moments, and section features, all growing out of a more subdued and mysterious introduction. Jazz is admittedly not my primary idiom, so I called this piece "It Might Mean a Thing" in hopeful reference to the famous Duke Ellington tune "It Don't Mean a Thing (If it Ain't Got that Swing)." Given the odd instrumentation, I've also re-scored the piece for full wind ensemble. Not available for purchase yet, pending results of a competition I've entered it in later in 2020. Enjoy!