composition

American Patriot Overture

for Orchestra

  • Genre
    Orchestra
  • Commissioned by/written for
  • Year completed
    1999
  • Year revised
  • Timing
    10:30
  • Catalog number
    166
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  • 3
    known performances
  • General notes
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This work was written for the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, at the time conducted by Robert Stoll. Originally entitled Independence Overture (briefly), the Overture was performed at three successive "Picnic with the Pops" concerts in 1999, 2000, and 2001 under the title of Millennium Festival Overture. Only later did I follow the suggestion of conductor David Bowden, who had pointed out the huge number of works bearing the title of "Millennium," to retitle it yet again. I finally settled on American Patriot Overture as a name better suited to this work that had been intended to be a kind of American equivalent to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. Like my Russian predecessor, I called for cannons in my work, and even tried to go him one better by also including firecrackers in the scoring! This overtly patriotic work substitutes well-known tunes from American history to the Russian ones employed by Tchaikovsky. These include Hail Columbia, Chester, America the Beautiful, and even a short reference to The Star-Spangled Banner. Like Tchaikovsky, I have included a short battle episode in my work, and Civil War re-enactment troops may participate in this section of the work if desired. The work is clearly written for general audience appeal, and there is little that is intended to be profound in it.

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