Battle Lines  (2015)

Duration: approx. 4:00

Requested by Dr Stephen Cobb for The Salvation Army UK & Ireland Territory's Territorial Youth Band course 2015, this fun piece is a concert opener with a difference. 

Inspired by the USA's College Marching Band culture and the brass 'battles' we see these days courtesy of YouTube, the piece commences with an opening fanfare segment requiring the band to split into two equal groups. In each ensemble the players stand in two rows: with bright-sounding Cornets and Trombones at the back, and Mellows (Horns, Baritones, Euphoniums & Basses) on the front row with direction to stand with bells facing out for maximum audio impact. 

The groups 'battle' each other with fanfare motifs and rich textured 'space' chords. The percussion section forms the glue between the groups; linking phrases and setting the style. 

After the regal fanfare the piece picks up tempo and the brass players move back to their seats for a College football inspired march directly inspired by Alan Silvestri's Smash and Grab from the hit DreamWorks movie The Croods

In College football tradition, the piece references well-known songs from the popular music world. Alongside these, the customary SA song is 'Come, join our Army, to battle we go'.  

After a brief latin-esque cornet solo the music transitions back to the earlier march feel and culminates with a presentation of the song's chorus, a reference to a well-known boxing movie and a final, striking unison chord.

The 'battle' segment and extended percussion requirements of this work mean it is suited to massed bands more than a small group. Time permitting it may be that the piece can be reworked for standard band in due course.

The TYC and TYC course has been running successfully for almost 20 years now in the UK. The aim of the five-day event is to train Salvation Army young people in excellence in faith and music. With a move away from traditional music schools to all-encompassing 'schools of creative art' and the like 
in recent times, and with a more or less a total absence of discipleship training in the UK Army over recent generations, I feel the need for courses such as this one is as great today as ever. I am therefore thrilled to contribute a small part towards it. 

May God bless and inspire the staff and delegates of TYB/TYC 2015!


Sample score pages
Battle Lines p3-4.pdf Battle Lines p3-4.pdf
Size : 72.046 Kb
Type : pdf

 Video clip

Title Page Artwork

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