Instrumentation: Piccolo; 3 Flutes (minimum 2 players per part preferred); 3 Oboes; English Horn; Eb Clarinet; 3 Bb Clarinets (minimum 3 to 4 players per part preferred); Bb Bass Clarinet; 3 Bassoons; Contrabassoon and/or Eb Contralto or Bb Contrabass Clarinet; Bb Soprano Saxophone; Eb Alto Saxophone; Bb Tenor Saxophone; Eb Baritone Saxophone; Bb Bass Saxophone (optional, but preferred); 4 C or Bb Trumpets; 4 F Horns; 3 Tenor Trombones; Bass Trombone; Euphonium; Tuba; Timpani (five drums); Percussion 1: Glockenspiel, Xylophone; Percussion 2: Vibraphone, Chimes; Percussion 3: Large Woodblock, Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbals (large and very large); Percussion 4: Concert Bass Drum; Celesta; Harp or Piano (optional; Harp preferred); Contrabass (2 players preferred)
Publisher: Michael Daugherty Music
World Premiere: March 31, 2023 / University of Michigan Symphony Band / Michael Haithcock, conductor
Passacaglia in Primary Colors for Symphonic Band was commissioned by the University of Michigan in celebration of Michael Haithcock’s twenty-two years as Director of Bands at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theater and Dance. The world premiere was performed by the University of Michigan Symphony Band, conducted by Michael Haithcock, at Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, Michigan on March 31, 2023.
The American artist Andy Warhol (1928-1987) often employed repetition of images and vibrant primary colors in his art works. Passacaglia in Primary Colors is structured as a passacaglia, one of the most recognizable structures for musical repetition. The main musical motive consists of 15 pulses or beats, repeated and transformed into unpredictable tonalities and blocks of instrumental color.