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composition / concert band / sensus vitae

sensus vitae: a fanfare & chorale for the good of humanity

Medium: Concert Band
Publisher: C. Alan Publications (spring 2013 release)
Composed: February 2012 
Duration: ca. 4:30
Difficulty: Grade 4.5

Instrumentation:

Piccolo
Flute 1/2
Oboe (opt.)
Bassoon (opt.)
Bb Clarinet 1
Bb Clarinet 2
Bb Clarinet 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1/2
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone

Bb Trumpet 1
Bb Trumpet 2
Bb Trumpet 3
F Horn 1/2
F Horn 3/4
Trombone 1
Trombone 2
Trombone 3
Euphonium
(Baritone T.C.)
Tuba

String Bass

Timpani (4 drums)

Percussion 1
Bells, Suspended Cymbal (shared)

Percussion 2
Vibraphone, Tam-Tam, Suspended Cymbal (shared)

Percussion 3
Chimes, 3 Low Concert Toms, Suspended Cymbal (shared)

Percussion 4
Snare Drum, Suspended Cymbal (shared)

Percussion 5
Concert Bass Drum 

look inside

Sensus Vitae Score

about the piece

When commissioned to compose Sensus Vitae (“The Meaning of Life”) by Kevin Bowen and the Wake Forest University Bands for the inaugural year of their Emerging Band Composer Series, I was given a single phrase from which to draw inspiration:

Pro Humanitate – This is Wake Forest's motto which roughly translates from Latin as "for humanity" or "to serve humanity" 

As I was assembling ideas for the piece, Martin Luther King Jr.'s  birthday came and went, moving me to discover a couple of his quotes regarding humanity.

"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."

"An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity."
- Martin Luther King Jr.

These quotes helped determine the mood of the piece, but it was a simple quote from Leo Tolstoy that gave the piece wings. 

"The sole meaning of life is to serve humanity."
- Leo Tolstoy