These recordings are from a live performance by the UTSA Concert Band, Donald Miller, conductor.
Composer: David Heuser Instrumentation: Concert Band (grade III/IV) Year Composed: 2010 Duration: 7 minutes, 30 seconds Pages (score): 31 Cost: Purchase: $100.00 (Contact us for a study score!)
I. Enchanted Rock
II. Lost Maples
III. Guadalupe River
Each movement of Three Places in the Texas Hill Country depicts a important natural landmark of the Texas Hill Country, that area of Texas North of San Antonio and West of Austin. It is an area of rough and unusual beauty. The first movement was inspired by the majesty (and mystery) of Enchanted Rock, a pink granite batholith (an underground rock formation which has been uncovered by erosion) that covers 640 acres and rises 425 feet above the ground. This movement combines my memories of climbing the dome,
as well as my impression of seeing the rock's unlikely presence, rising suddenly from the surrounding landscape.
The second movement, Lost Maples, is a reference to the Uvalde Bigtooth maple trees found in small patches in the Hill Country, most notable in Lost Maples State Natural Area. These are "lost" maples because as the climate changed after the last ice age, what was once a widely distributed tree was left in only a few isolated stands where water was more plentiful and the climate remained relatively cool. Although the Bigtooth is noted for its fall foliage, the music is more about the story of these "lost" trees, if they could tell us their sad story.
The last movement is inspired by the Guadalupe River. Normally a slow river known for its excellent tubing (the act of floating down the river on inner tubes, often while having a movable party) , the Guadalupe will periodically swell with rain and runoff, flooding the area. I got caught up in this aspect of the river, when it moves fast and powerfully, and because of that the music is a little like looking at fast flowing water: any one spot looks pretty much the same from moment to moment even though the water is constantly changing. The movement uses minimalist techniques; each part has a small bit of music they repeat, but the relationship between all of those musical fragments is constantly changing.
Three Places in the Texas Hill Country was composed for the Hector Garcia Middle School Band in San Antonio, Texas (Guerrina Esparza, director), which will premiere the piece in May, 2011.
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