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Full Orchestra
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Wind Ensemble
Solo Instrumental

The wind ensemble version was awarded first prize in the third annual Frank Ticheli Composition Competition, (category 2).

Lift-Off is a very quick and energetic piece, not quite 3 minutes long. It was written when NASA was returning the Space Shuttle to flight in 2005 and is a celebration of human space exploration. There are very few delicate moments in this piece, and I concentrate more on large gestures and thick orchestration. Highly pointed rhythmic sections give way to richly harmonized melodic sections, with an almost constant rushing of 16th notes throughout the entire piece. It is a thrilling ride for both the performers and the audience.

Lift-Off was commissioned by Andrew Lane and the Sarasota Orchestra Symphony Association. It was premiered by the Sarasota Orchestra Youth Philharmonic sitting side-by-side with the professional musicians on Monday, November 13, 2006. In its original orchestral version, it has been performed by the USC Concert Orchestra under the baton of Michael Powers, the Shawnee Mission Northwest High School Orchestra under the baton of Jeffrey Bishop, and the Omaha Area Youth Philharmonic under the baton of Aviva Segall.

There is also a transcription for wind ensemble, and it was premiered by H Robert Reynolds and the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble on October 21, 2007. It has been since been performed by Rodney Dorsey and the University of Michigan Concert Band and also recorded by Eugene Corporon and the UNT Wind Symphony, available on the GIA WindWorks series.

To see the full score for the wind ensemble version, please visit its Manhattan Beach Issuu page.

Wind Ensemble Version
performed by the University of Michigan Concert Band, Rodney Dorsey conducting

Orchestral Version
performed by the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra, Alexandra Dee conducting

The wind ensemble version of Lift-Off is now published by Manhattan Beach Music. If you are interested in purchasing the orchestral version of Lift-Off, please contact me.

    Orchestral instrumentation:
  • 3 flutes (3rd doubles piccolo), 3 oboes, 3 Bb clarinets, 3 Bassoons
  • 4 horns in F, 3 Bb trumpets, 3 trombones (3rd is bass), 1 tuba
  • Timpani, 3 or 5 Percussionists*
  • Harp, Strings
    Wind ensemble instrumentation:
  • Piccolo, 3 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 Bb clarinets, Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons
  • 2 alto saxes, tenor sax, baritone sax
  • 4 horns in F, 3 Bb trumpets, 3 trombones, euphonium, tuba
  • Timpani, 5 Percussionists
  • Harp, Contrabass
    Percussion required for both versions:
  • Vibraphone, Marimba, Xylophone, Glockenspiel, 5 Woodblocks, Whip, Suspended Cymbals, Crash Cymbals, Tam-tam, Snare Drum, 5 Tom-toms, Bass Drum.
  • *Note that for orchestra, there is an option of three or five percussionists. The version for three percussionists does not require marimba.

Copyright © by Roger Zare Music, ASCAP. All Rights Reserved.