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Lamont Downs:

Works for Wind Ensemble


RS-2 (Concert March) (1970) * DDA40X (Concert March) (1972) * E7A (Concert March) (1994) * Electric Symphony for Junior Wind Ensemble (1972) * Sinfonia I for Wind Band (1969) * Sinfonia II for Wind Ensemble (1979-1980)
RS-2 (Concert March) (1970)

RS-2 is the unofficial designation (official designation: DL-600B) for a model of diesel locomotive, manufactured by the American Locomotive Company (Alco) of Schenectady, N.Y. The letters stand for Road Switcher, meaning a lomotive intended for both yard switching functions and long-haul applications.

RS-2 was composed during April, 1970. Conventional march rhythms reign (with an occasional jolt); however, the work is harmonically based upon a symmetrical scale (whole-step, half-step, whole-step, half-step, etc.) which is inverted for the Trio.

Duration: ca. 2:30.

Instrumentation: Conventional concert band.

Availability: Published by Warner Brothers Publications along with E7A, under the title Two Railroad Marches, in The Donald Hunsberger Wind Library.


DDA40X (Concert March) (1972)

The name DDA40X refers to a design of diesel locomotive specially constructed for the Union Pacific Railroad by the Electro-Motive Division (EMD) of General Motors. The locomotive was rated at 6600 horsepower, produced by two sixteen-cylinder diesel engines, and had an overall length of slightly under 100 feet. The first DDA40X went into service on the Union Pacific in May of 1969 and saw extensive use, particularly on the UP's Oregon Division between the East and the Pacific Northwest.

DDA40X is a concert march score for wind ensemble and featuring an extension of the traditional march percussion section. It was begun July 9, 1972, and finished October 29 of the same year, and given its first performance in December, 1972 by the Eastman Symphony Band under the direction of the composer.

Duration: 3:50.

Instrumentation: Wind ensemble or concert band, with minimum four percussionists plus timpanist.

Availability: Score and parts available as a Free Download.


E7A (Concert March) (1994)

The E7A has been described as "the most beautiful passenger locomotive ever built." Constructed by General Motors' Electro-Motive Division between 1945 and 1949, 428 of these graceful locomotives served on most of the major U.S. railroads, pulling some of the most famous trains in the nation's history. The "bulldog" nose of the E7A (the E7B lacked an engineer's cab) is probably still what most people picture today when they visualize a streamlined passenger train.

E7A was composed for the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductor's Association (MICA) during the summer of 1994, for performance by the MENC 1995 All-Eastern Band in April 1995. Much of the work is derived from a harmonic motive first heard from the muted horns. The piece is not intended as a "tone-picture" of this locomotive, but rather as a tribute to its combined grace and power.

Duration: ca. 7:00.

Instrumentation: WInd ensemble or concert band, with a minimum of five percussionists plus timpanist.

Availability: Published by Warner Brothers Publications along with RS-2, under the title Two Railroad Marches, in The Donald Hunsberger Wind Library.


Electric Symphony for Junior Wind Ensemble (1972)

The Electric Symphony is a "texture" piece for elementary band. The ensemble is divided into five sections, who when cued by the conductor carry out the instruction in front of them and wait for the next cue.

Duration: ca. 2:30.

Instrumentation: Elementary band; sixteen players minimum.

Availability: Published in 1980 by G. Schirmer, Inc. Currently out of print.


Sinfonia I for Wind Band (1969)

The Sinfonia I for Wind Band (1969) was begun in Spring of 1969 and completed in the Fall of that year. It received its first performance at the Fortieth Annual Festival of American Music (held in Rochester, N.Y.) on May 12, 1970, by the Eastman Wind Ensemble under the direction of Donald Hunsberger. Sinfonia I was later awarded the 1970 Howard Hanson Prize for Wind Ensemble Composition. The work was extensively revised in 1974.

Duration: ca. 9:00-10:00.

Instrumentation:Wind ensemble, with a minimum of four percussionists plus timpanist.

Availability: Score and parts available as a Free Download.


Sinfonia II for Wind Ensemble (1979-80)

The Sinfonia II for Wind Ensemble was begun in January of 1979 and completed July 13, 1980. It was first performed by the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Donald Hunsberger conducting, on October 7, 1981. The work was revised in 1995.

Duration:ca. 15:00.

Instrumentation:Large wind ensemble. Special requirements: Five trumpeters, five percussionists plus timpanist.

Availability: Score and parts available as a Free Download.

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This page last updated 2/5/2010.