Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble by Mark Ford

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Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble by Mark Ford

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Coming Soon! Duration: 24 Minutes


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Out of stock


Coming Soon!

Duration: 24 minutes


  • Piccolo
  • Flute 1, 2
  • Oboe 1, 2
  • Clarinet 1, 2
  • Bass Clarinet
  • Bassoon 1, 2
  • Contrabassoon
  • Soprano Sax
  • Alto Sax 1, 2
  • Tenor Sax
  • Bari Sax
  • Harp
  • Piano
  • Celesta
  • Trumpet 1, 2
  • Horn 1, 2
  • Trombone 1, 2
  • Bass Trombone
  • Euphonium
  • Tuba
  • Double Bass
  • Timpani
  • Vibraphone
  • Solo Marimba
  • Percussion 1
    • Snare Drum
    • Tam-tam
    • Triangle
    • Medium and Small Suspended Cymbals
    • Crash Cymbals
    • Hi-Hat
    • (Cymbals and triangle are shared with player 2)
    • 2 Shakers (not maracas)
    • High bongo
    • Vibraslap
  • Percussion 2
    • Medium and Small Suspended Cymbals
    • Crash Cymbals
    • Hi-Hat
    • (Cymbals and triangle are shared with player 1)
    • 4 Graduated Concert Toms (slightly muted)
    • Tambourine
  • Percussion 3
    • Mark Tree
    • Concert Bass Drum
    • Finger Cymbals
    • Muted Cowbell


Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble (2022)
Mark Ford

Movement 1 – Exile
Movement 2 – Moon Chasers (available separately)
Movement 3 – If It Goes About Us

This American premiere of Concerto for Marimba and Wind Ensemble by Mark Ford is with the UNT Wind Orchestra, Maestro Andrew Trachsel director with Ford as marimba soloist on April 21, 2023 at UNT’s Murchison Performing Arts Center.
Below are Program Notes from the Premiere of Concerto for Marimba on October 9th, 2022 at Hamer Hall with the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music Wind Ensemble directed by Maestro Nicholas Williams.

Music has always been organic for me. Whether playing in a concert band or orchestra, a rock/jazz band, solo marimba, percussion ensemble, or steel drum band, the feeling of the music has always been my initial connection with expression. How the music makes me feel and move is equally important as the sounds I’m hearing and crafting. I could not separate these aspects and I would not want to try!

So when Professor Nicholas Williams asked me to compose a work for the Melbourne Conservatorium Wind Ensemble, the first thing I had to consider was what feeling did I want to embrace for this music? I knew that some day I would make the time to compose a concerto for marimba and now the opportunity was before me, but I was not sure where to start. I did not yet “feel” the passion for the music that I was to write. Perhaps, most people think that writing the notes on the staves for musicians is the most important aspect of composing. Of course compositional knowledge and experience plays a huge role, but these notes will not connect with an audience unless they touch me (the composer) first. So I had to have more than a request to compose a major work for wind ensemble, I had to have a story to tell. And then life changed and presented my saga.

In March of 2020 I was preparing for an exciting trip to perform in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and then a week in St. Petersburg, Russia. My wife, Ewelina (“Eva-lee-na” – yes it’s Polish…), flew from Dallas, Texas with our daughter, Emily (age 5) to Poland about a week before I was set to leave for Amsterdam. Our plan was to let Emily get over the jet lag and become settled with her grandmother Lucyna. Then Emily would stay with her “Babcia” for a week while Ewelina would fly to meet me in St. Petersburg. We were excited about exploring this unique city and also hearing new music and meeting new friends during the festival there. Well, unfortunately none of this beautiful adventure happened as planned.

A day before I was to fly to Europe Covid took over the world, flights and events were cancelled, and the pandemic of 2020 began. I was stuck in Texas and Ewelina and Emily were stranded in Opole, Poland. Of course we felt that this was just a temporary problem at first, but our separation turned out to be difficult and serious as it lasted months.

Everyone was stuck at home during the beginning of the pandemic with schools/businesses closed. So here I was, in our house with a marimba, a piano and a computer and feelings of frustration, anger, and loneliness. Soon I decided that I needed to change course and put these feelings to task in composition. So I channeled all of my emotions into writing my Concerto for Marimba.

The first movement is titled, “Exile.” This movement is centered around a beautiful love song for my wife but twisted and turned by events out of our control. The mysterious opening cites the beginning of the love song but quickly becomes angry before the marimba enters. Eventually the love song is presented fully before the song is again distorted as the movement builds to a climatic ending.

The second movement is based on an earlier marimba solo I wrote for Ewelina with the same title, “Moon Chasers.” The title refers to two people in love separated by distance and only connected by the moon. The opening section in F# minor is a transition from the first movement and brings the audience to the main Moon Chasers’ theme. I utilize the piano, harp, celeste and vibraphone for imagery of a starry night as the moon moves across the sky.

The third movement, “If It Goes About Us”, is a dance of joy. Being together and sharing the beauty and trials in life together is everything. This music is a celebration of how we can rise above major problems (such as a pandemic) and still find joy and love in life.

After exactly 100 days of separation, Ewelina and Emily finally were able to fly home to Texas and we were reunited. It is a day I will never forget and my feelings for this experience are in the music you will experience tonight.

Finally, to my brother Nicholas Willams, and all of my new friends in Melbourne, Australia and at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, thank you for giving me this opportunity to share my music with you tonight! This is a chance of a lifetime and I’m happy that you are here with us! Enjoy! – Mark Ford

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