Allegheny Footprints

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Allegheny Footprints, op. 259
Allegheny Valley Band Association, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
2024 – grade 4 – 5:45


Having been asked to write a piece for the Allegheny River Band Association’s 2025 Senior High School Honor Band, it seemed only appropriate to consider inspiration from the river itself.  This important and beautiful river has numerous historical citations with regard to how it got its name.  One of those is a  reference to the Delaware Tribe that used the Lenapi tribal name for the river as Alikehane,  which translates to "river where footprints can be seen."  From a musical perspective, the idea of "footprints" easily provides a connection to dance rhythms, and that is what generated the ideas that created this piece, allowing me to use a variety of meters and rhythms. 

A fast-paced opening moves between 3/4 and 5/4 time  with an abundance of underlying rhythmic energy before settling into a 3/4 main theme  followed by a 5/4 secondary theme.  A 4/4 lyrical section provides contrast and moments  of introspection and expression while astute and imaginative listeners will hear ripples in the water and shifting currents.  The return to the original fast tempo occurs in a transitional  development section in 6/4 time before bringing us back to familiar themes, arriving at a  stirring conclusion to the piece.