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A Flight of Dragons

for brass band

Year:  2002

Year:  2002

David Hamilton

Composer:   David Hamilton

Films, Audio & Samples

Sample Score

Sample: Pages 1-3, 16-18, 34-35

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This work is a re-scoring of three movements from my work for choir and brass band The Dragons are Singing Tonight. That work sets poems by Jack Prelutsky, an American poet, whose poetry for children is highly regarded and widely anthologised. One of the movements, the 2nd of this set, was already just for brass band, and I added two other movements to make a short suite. Essentially the original choral parts have been absorbed into the band texture. Although several possibilities exist for a collective noun for dragons, apparently a 'flight' is the most widely used word. The Mechanical Dragon is made up of all sorts of bits and pieces which might be found around the house, from rusty shovels to unmendable socks. The poem also describes some of the noises it makes. Boom! the thunder dragon is a description of the dragon who claims 'I am Boom the thunder dragon, taller than the tallest trees, I stir mighty whirlwinds when I whisper, mighty cyclones when I sneeze...'. The poem for the final movement suggests that while dragons were once believed in, their time is now over and they've lived their last. Or have they? The Dragons are Singing Tonight was commissioned by Auckland Choral Society (conductor: Peter Watts) with funding provided by Creative New Zealand. The texts from The Dragons are Singing Tonight were used by kind permission of the poet and Greenwillow Books, New York. The Dragons are Singing Tonight was first performed on 29 June 1996 by Auckland Choral Society and Fosters Auckland Brass, conducted by Peter Watts. It has since been widely performed in New Zealand and also in Canada and England.

Commissioned note

Commissioned by the Auckland Choral Society, conducted by Peter Watts, with funding provided by Creative New Zealand

Contents note

  1. The Mechanical Dragon
  2. Boom! The Thunder Dragon
  3. Once They All Believed in Dragons

Text note

Text by Jack Prelutsky