To Be a Wolf… (Grade 1.5)


Print set available via Murphy Music Press

SKU: TBW-PDF Categories: ,


Ensemble: Concert Band
Grade: 1.5
Duration: 2 minutes

Clarinet 1-2-3
Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1-2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet 1-2
Euphonium or Baritone B.C./T.C.
Electric or String Bass
Percussion (min. 3 players):

Percussion 1-2: Snare Drum and Bass Drum
Percussion 3: Crash Cymbals

Program Notes

To Be a Wolf… was written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Altimira Middle School in Sonoma, CA. With the assistance of their band director Carolyn Niehaus, the Altimira music students presented several concepts to jump-start the creation of the piece. Some had to do with their school mascot, the wolf, so I listened to field recordings of wolf packs howling in what is known as a “chorus howl.” The motif that first appears in the flutes and saxophones at measures 24 and 25 is based on a fragment that I heard in one of the recordings. I also chose a call-and-response element to the piece as a hallmark of wolf pack howls.

The students also came up with a form, based on a more personal element. In 2017 (one year prior to the beginning of the commission process), the devastating Tubbs Fire in the surrounding area forced widespread evacuations and school closures, including Altimira. Students and their families were among those who lost their homes or were otherwise directly affected by the fire. Ms. Niehaus’s class suggested that the piece start out with a “happy mood around school,” then a contrasting section related to the fires, and finishing off by “returning to happy, because we are a family.” The resulting contrast section in the middle (m.38), is more subdued, with open harmonies and less call-and-response so that the music can be filled back in when everyone comes together again for the final repeat of the “happy” main melody statement.

About PDF Delivery

What is PDF Delivery? PDF Delivery allows you to receive your score and parts set digitally via email instead of physical copies via snail mail. You get quicker access to the music at a lower price and are able to better ensure the correct number of parts for your ensemble. Is there a limit on the number of copies I can print? You may print as many or as few copies of each part as needed for your ensemble. However, please don’t share or post your download link, files, and/or printed copies with others beyond the intended license. Every sale makes a difference! How and when will I receive my files? Once payment clears, a password-protected file transfer link will be sent to the email address used during purchase. Please allow up to 1 full business day to receive your link. Help! I never received my link or my link/password is broken/expired. After checking your spam folder, please email if you have not received your link after 1 full business day or if you are having other issues accessing the download.