First Flight

Four and a half minutes of symphonic rock. Driving rhythms, soaring leads, and nimble countermelodies abound in this cosmic adventure for orchestra; a burst of energy and joy with a nostalgic feel.

Orchestra | Grade 4 | 4:15

Performance materials available on J.W. Pepper:

The sound file is also available for purchase from Bandcamp:

About the piece

Among the first things I wrote in high school (circa 2008) was a piece for trumpet, electric guitar, piano, bass, and drum set; I and 4 friends premiered it at a student-run concert. Afterwards, I had no other plans for the music (it wasn’t even named) and it was set aside. Fast forward to the pandemic in 2020, when I had some time on my hands, and add to that getting the BBC Symphony Orchestra sound library through Spitfire. The result is First Flight, an incredibly energetic and fun mash-up of a rock band with an orchestra.

For me, the piece has a 1980’s feel to it – and there’s a lot of music from that decade I love, so I say that in the best way possible. It turned out to be a tribute to two things that make me nostalgic: music from my childhood, and the beginning of my composition journey. To name it, I tied in my lifelong love of flying (and also my childhood dream of being a pilot): writing this piece was my “first flight” as a composer.

First Flight was premiered in its original form by a 5 piece rock band in the spring of 2008. The orchestral arrangement was released in 2022.

Request a free score for perusal.