I. Alligator’s Theme
II. Hunter’s Theme
Instrumentation: 3 Flute 1, 3 Flute 2, 2 Oboe 1, 2 Oboe 2, 2 Bassoon 1, 2 Bassoon 2, 4 Bb Clarinet 1, 4 Bb Clarinet 2, 4 Bb Clarinet 3, 2 Bb Bass Clarinet, 2 Eb Alto Saxophone 1, 2 Eb Alto Saxophone 2, 2 Bb Tenor Saxophone, 1 Eb Baritone Saxophone, 4 Bb Trumpet 1, 4 Bb Trumpet 2, 2 F Horn 1, 2 F Horn 2, 3 Trombone 1, 3 Trombone 2, 2 Baritone B.C., 2 Baritone T.C., 4 Tuba, 2 String Bass optional), 1 Timpani, 2 Percussion 1 (whip, triangle, crash cymbals, tambourine, shake), 2 Percussion 2 (crash cymbals, triangle, tambourine, shake), 2 Percussion 3 (wood block, bongo or conga, maracas), 1 Percussion 4 (bass drum), Vibraphone (optional), Marimba (optional)
Publisher: American Composers Forum
Duration: 4:30 minutes
World Premiere: May 14, 2003 / Slausen Middle School, Ann Arbor, Michigan / Michael Daugherty, conductor
Alligator Alley was commissioned by the American Composers Forum for the BandQuest middle-level music series. The first performance was given by the Slausen Middle School Band, conducted by Michael Daugherty, at Slausen Middle School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, on May 14, 2003.
Alligator Alley is the nickname for the east-west stretch of Interstate 75 between Naples and Fort Lauderdale that crosses through the Florida Everglades National Park. This park is home to many endangered species, one of them being the American alligator. One might see an alligator along the roadside when driving along this stretch of road. Alligator Alley invokes two themes in this piece: the first, called the “alligator’s theme,” is played at the beginning with bassoons and evokes the slithering nature of the alligator; the second is called the “hunter’s theme” which is performed by the brass and includes sounds of an alligator snapping its jaws with two pieces of wood struck together. Alligator Alley celebrates this noble beast that has remained largely unchanged from prehistoric times.