An exploration in short orchestral adventures with a cinematic feel. Includes 4 movements, which can be performed as a set or individually.

Orchestra | Grade 4 | 10:00

Performance materials for the full suite are available on J.W. Pepper:

The individual movements (each roughly 2:30) are also available for purchase as stand alone performance pieces:

Sound files are available for purchase on Bandcamp.

Movement Synopses

  1. Your Adventure Awaits – Short, cinematic call to adventure in two parts. Solo horn and trumpet lines alternate in a mysterious introduction that prefigures the soaring, full-ensemble main theme. A brief woodwind chorale serves as a coda.
  2. Chaos Controlled – A precarious situation gradually spirals out of control (and back again) in this brief concert work. Furtive ostinatos evolve into a full-orchestra frenzy, swelling to a massive crescendo before a coda of pizzicato strings.
  3. Daydream of Glory – A dreamer in the doldrums of reality comes face-to-face with a vision of a better future. The vision becomes more vivid and powerful, but quickly fades as the dreamer is forced to confront reality once again. The choice is ours: will we pursue the dream and make it reality?
  4. Full Sails – Concert piece brimming with swashbuckling adventure that feels straight out of a movie score. The bold main theme is a great showcase for a strong horn section, while the contrasting theme and coda feature the woodwinds.

About the piece

The four movements of Discovery came into existence unintentionally, if such a thing can be said in relation to orchestral composing. I had recently gotten a new sound library, and wanted to explore its capabilities for demos. I didn’t want to use my previous work as a test run, which meant composing some new short pieces on-the-fly. Not only did I end up pleased with the sound library, I also found I couldn’t stop thinking about the sound demos and decided to transcribe them onto sheet music. The experience was influential for me in that notation wasn’t involved until the music was essentially finished, a process I have gone on to use for subsequent pieces.

The final result is Discovery, a suite of four movements that are very different, yet all filled with excitement, energy, and adventure. Many people have said my composition style has a cinematic feel, and Discovery may show that more than anything else I’ve written. The piece is representative in other ways as well: it has strong melodies and harmonies, interesting parts for each instrument, and inherent optimism. I hope the piece will be fun to prepare, perform, and hear. For the inspiration for this music, and for any joy that it may bring to its performers and audiences, I give all glory to God.

Discovery was released as individual movements in 2021, and as a suite in 2023.

Request a free score for perusal.