AMERICAN WONDERS is a set of lyrical symphonic band works created by Edward Knight in collaboration with music educator Michael Raiber, inspired by episodes from American history. These cross-curricular pieces focus on specific areas of musical growth in individual musicianship and ensemble experience. Each piece has unique features that offer musicians and teachers learning experiences beyond typical repertoire for bands at these performance levels.
The Wizard of Menlo Park (2'45")
Celebrating Thomas Alva Edison's first successful lightbulb.
OF NOTE: Percussion section can perform the piece independently from the band.
Path of Totality (4'30")
Experiencing the Great American Eclipse.
OF NOTE: 3-movement work for young band.
Kitty Hawk (4')
Orville and Wilbur Wright's pioneering flight.
OF NOTE: Shows off double reeds; 6/8 meter; nurtures independence.
Pocahontas leaves America for England with a new name.
OF NOTE: Solo piano begins and ends piece; 5/4 meter.
The True Life Adventures of Lucille Mulhall (2'45")
In the saddle with the first cowgirl of the American West.
OF NOTE: Prominent solos; rhythm section evokes a Western style.
Peerless Annabelle's Butterfly Dance (4'15")
First projected movie in the United States, via Phantoscope.
OF NOTE: Explores independence of voice and transference of color.
(GRADE 3.5 cont.)
The Extraordinary Wheel of George Washington Ferris (2')
The rise and fall of the world's first machine built purely for fun.
OF NOTE: Prominent solos for euphonium and trombone; tempo changes; cabaret style.
Party Like It's 1876 (3'15")
Telephones, typewriters, sewing machines, root beer, ketchup and the Statue of Liberty's torch make their debut at America's first World's Fair, the 1876 Centennial Exhibition.
OF NOTE: Wildly festive; party instruments; featured percussion section.
Sequoyah and the Talking Leaves (3')
Inventor of the Cherokee syllabary.
OF NOTE: Natural and cohesive mixed meter; optional rhythm section.
Agent 355 (5'30")
Mysterious Revolutionary War spy; her identity remains secret.
OF NOTE: Suspenseful, theatrical, multi-style/multi-melody; active double reeds.
The Frolicking House (5')
A night at Mississippi's Dockery Farms, original home of the Delta blues.
OF NOTE: Big Band style; ad lib solos; conductor crafts structure and texture.
The Eagle Has Landed (4')
Cold War space race culminates with moon landing on July 20, 1969.
OF NOTE: Featured body percussion; tango theme; theatrical.