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Light Descending

for Concert Band
(see perusal score below for full instrumentation)
Duration: ca. 5.5'

Light DescendingFort Collins Wind Symphony, Rebecca Phillips
00:00 / 05:39

This work is the result of a collaboration between the composer and the

2023 Purposeful Repertoire Consortium Members.

Click here for info on how to be part of any future Purposeful Repertoire Consortiums to help contribute to the concert band grade 3 to 4 repertoire.

Light Descending draws its inspiration from the counterintuitive idea that as we move downward, away from the sunlight, the world can become even more magnificent.

The music begins in full light with a Grandioso introduction, representing the more obvious beauty that we can see every day. The work is anchored by an eighth note ostinato which is intentionally ambiguous as to whether it is ascending or descending, representing that physically moving lower does not necessarily mean the same emotional response.

Towards the end of the work, the Grandioso from the introduction returns as if to show that if we are willing to find it, the beauty above can be found below.


This work was written shortly after I finished reading Robert McFarlane’s Underland: A Deep Time Journey. While perhaps not literally represented, the vivid descriptions of hidden water, cave systems, and glaciers were certainly fresh in my mind during the compositional process.

PDF-Perusal Score

(not for performance use)

While it can be played as a stand-alone piece, this work was written to be performed in tandem with Refractions. The two pieces were part of the 2023 Purposeful Repertoire Consortium and were composed with musical elements and the theme of “light” in common to create separate but complimentary works. (Similar to the common practice of performing Grainger’s Irish Tune with the shorter Shepherd’s Hey.)


Light Descending



at a discount

Photo courtesy of Michael Worden

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