Big Sky is a programmatic work in four movements written for alto flute and piano. Also suitable for performance on concert flute, parts for both alto flute and concert flute are included. Commissioned by Margaret Schuberg, flute professor at The University of Montana-Missoula, Big Sky is descriptive of the scenery, wildlife and lifestyle of Montana.
Movement 1: Big Sky. This movement celebrates the beauty and grandeur of Montana in a movement reminiscent of Aaron Copland with open chords and large intervals in the melody.
Movement 2: Riding the Range. Written in alternating 6/8 and 3/4 time signatures, this movement depicts the loping rhythm of a cowboy and his horse on a cattle drive.
Movement 3: Cry of the Eagle. This movement opens with harmonics, timbral trills, and pitch bends played freely to simulate the cry of an eagle. In the poignant melody that follows, you can feel the eagle soaring freely in the sky.
Movement 4: Whitewater on the Blackfoot. This movement details the excitement of river rafting on the Blackfoot River. Calm and gently flowing waters lead to a wild ride on the whitewater.