Adaptable Instrumental Ensemble

Program Note



The point on the celestial sphere vertically above a given position or observer.

Looking straight up, to me, means looking into the night sky; looking at the stars, the planets. There’s mystery, intrigue, a sense of being small, a sense that the universe is massive beyond what we are able to comprehend.

All these ideas are represented in the music – the bass instruments at the opening rise, the loud climax is representative of how big the universe is, and the smaller solos represent a combination of the amazement of looking to the stars and to how small a part we play in the universe – how alone the human race really is.

At night, to look to the zenith is to look to the stars.

Zenith was commissioned by Will Martin, Marcy Racicot and the Prairie Spirit West Senior Band, SK, Canada, and adapted in 2020 for 4-voice adaptable ensemble for the Creative Repertoire Initiative in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its effect on music education.


SATB parts for:   

Flute, Oboe, Bassoon, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Alto Sax, Tenor Sax, Baritone Sax

Trumpet, French Horn, Trombone, Euphonium (bass clef and Bb), Tuba

Violin, Viola, Cello, Double Bass

Percussion (optional): Bass Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Timpani, Tom-toms, Vibraphone

Piano – optional

Performance Notes

  • Experimenting and exploring instrumentation, muting, etc. is encouraged!
  • If you have percussionists available the suggested priority of parts is: Tom-toms, Vibraphone, Bass Drum, Timpani, Suspended Cymbal

Adaptable Ensemble Notes

As part of the Creative Repertoire Initative I have written/re-worked several pieces that are for an adaptable/flexible ensembles (for band and string instruments) a response to the challenges to music performance and education that have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The idea behind these pieces is that, no matter the issues we face moving in to the 2020/21 academic year, there will be repertoire for players of all levels to learn and play together, be it in person, a hybrid-model, etc..

Each piece has been arranged in to 4 voices (S,A,T,B) and scored so that each instrument in your ensemble can play any part (i.e. flute 1 – 4, French Horn 1 – 4, Tuba 1 – 4 etc.). There are optional percussion parts in every piece and several of the pieces also have optional piano parts. There are also works with electronics too! Also included in the set will be a score for each instrument (e.g. a 4-part score for trombone, a 4-part score for clarinet, etc..), as well as a score in C complete with all of the percussion parts.

Experimentation with, and exploring of, instrumentation, colours, and textures is encouraged, and octave changes, where appropriate are possible.

Each set will be delivered digitally as a PDF and you are free to distribute those PDF files to anyone within your program.

More information can be found at the Meechan Music Adaptable Chart FAQ page here: http://meechanmusic.com/meechan-music-adaptable-chart-faq/