John Mackey's Concerto for soprano sax and wind ensemble (2007)
Wallace, Jacob Edward
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John Mackey is an important young American composer. A student of Pulitzer Prize–winning American composer John Corigliano, Mackey has written works for groups ranging from small chamber ensembles to symphony orchestra. He has become, recently, an important figure in composing new works for wind band. Of these, one of his most significant works is his 2007 composition Concerto for Soprano Sax and Wind Ensemble. This document serves as a comprehensive guide to the conductor for this work. It contains a historical background about John Mackey and the piece itself, an original and comprehensive musical analysis, and pedagogical advice for performing the work from the perspective of a conductor. Its intent is to provide conductors with the necessary tools to perform the work. These include an understanding of its genesis and commissioning and perception of difficulties presented to the ensemble in performance of the work. A comprehensive analysis of the work allows the reader to see the importance of shared motives and quotations from Corigliano’s Clarinet Concerto as well as understand the modern tonal language used regularly by Mackey. Appendices detail conversations between the author of the document and Mackey, extended techniques for the soloist, the composer’s notes on the piece, and a catalogue of the composer’s works for wind band.