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for three solo flutes and wind ensemble

Full Orchestra
String Orchestra
Wind Ensemble
Solo Instrumental

Breathless was commissioned by the Prairie Ridge High School Bands, directed by Marykate Kuhne, for Rachel Soukup, Alexandra Adrowski, and Ellie Scherrer.

There are some things in life that can take our breath away, like a beautiful view from atop a mountain, or a thrilling ride in a massive rollercoaster. We seek experiences where life exceeds our expectations and delivers transcendence, pushing us towards the edge of what is possible. The title, Breathless, also refers to the airy nature of the flute. Frequently using the "jet whistle" effect, which imitates the sound of a jet taking off, as well as rapid arpeggios and very tight coordination between the three solo parts, the relentless pace and extreme agility of the flute trio in this piece is designed to take our breath away. This piece is like a ride on a rollercoaster, with quick shifts of tonality and surprise sharp turns. The two themes, one march-like and the other lyrical, are presented in fragments, rapidly alternating between the ensemble and the solo trio to create an adrenaline rush for those performing and those listening.

Breathless was written to honor three exceptional individuals and musicians at Prairie Ridge High School: Rachel Soukup, Alexandra Adrowski, and Ellie Scherrer. After forming a friendship in 6th grade, they have performed together in chamber groups, concert bands, athletic bands, honors band festivals, and RAE trio. This music journey is humbling when paired with the intensity of academia and the reality of a pandemic affecting two years of their high school career. Thank you to Rachel, Alex and Ellie for your kindness, passion, dedication, and contributions to our community.

Duration: ca 4'45"
Grade: Ensemble parts are grade 4, solo flute parts are grade 6
Printed scores and parts are available for purchase from Murphy Music Press.
Electronic scores and parts, including the piano reduction, are available using the PayPal buttons at the bottom of this page.

  • 3 Solo Flutes
  • 1 Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 1 Oboe, 1 Bassoon
  • 3 Clarinets in Bb, 1 Bass Clarinet in Bb
  • 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone
  • 2 Trumpets in Bb, 2 Horns in F, 3 Trombones (3rd is bass), 1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba
  • Timpani, 6 Percussion
  • Contrabass
Note: the ensemble piccolo, flute, and double bass parts are optional. There is a piano reduction available.

Watch the premiere by the Prairie Ridge High School Wind Ensemble, conducted by Marykate Kuhne, with Rachel Soukup, Alexandra Adrowski, and Ellie Scherrer, solo flutes:

Below is the perusal score of the piano reduction. You may download it in case the embedded score below is difficult to see or does not display. If you would like to see a perusal of the full band score, please contact me.

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Breathless is available for purchase (printed scores and parts) from Murphy Music Press. Electronic copies are available directly from Roger Zare Music using the Paypal buttons below. If you need a quote for a purchase order, please contact me.

Date of performance
Performing ensemble

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