True Blue

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True Blue, op. 256
The Wheaton Municipal Band, Wheaton, IL
Bruce Moss, Conductor
grade 4.5 – 2:00



Founded in 1930, the Wheaton Municipal Band is truly one of the finest community bands in the country, performing to thousands of ardent admirers from their beautiful band shell in Wheaton's Memorial Park.  Having conducted this wonderful ensemble in the past, I was well aware of their history along with their amazing performances, so I was thrilled when their conductor, Bruce Moss invited me to write a piece for them to premiere during the summer of 2024.

The premise of the commission was that it would honor three of their current performers, Carol Kierzyk (clarinet), who has played in the band for 40 years, Mike Thorsen (horn), who has played in the band for 50 years, and Al Loek (trombone), who has played in the band for 60 years!

Consequently, this bright and breezy fanfare is perfect for a summer evening's concert in the park, and highlights these instruments by opening the piece with a theme that is based on the intervals of a 4th, 5th and a 6th, giving a nod to the number of decades during which these players have performed with the band. The first two notes of the melody are a major 6th, the next two beats are a perfect 4th and the beginning of the next measure is a perfect 5th. Later, a trio of soloists from these three sections is featured followed with instances where these sections play in sequence, continually reinforcing the appearance of these three instruments to honor the much-loved players who inspired the piece and continue to inspire the entire band.

The title, True Blue is derived from the meaning of the term, "unwavering in one's commitment; extremely loyal."  This, along with the City of Wheaton color blue, which is woven into the band's concert attire, made the title seem all the more appropriate as the piece was written to recognize the dedication and hard work these three players have demonstrated over these many decades as members of the Wheaton Municipal Band.