for reed quintet (oboe, B-flat clarinet, alto saxophone, bass clarinet, and bassoon)

Duration: ca. 6'

Composed for Akropolis Reed Quintet (Tim Gocklin, oboe; Kari Landry, clarinet; Matt Landry, alto saxophone; Andrew Koeppe, bass clarinet; and Ryan Reynolds, bassoon) for the 2018 Connecticut Summerfest


In February 2017, I heard Akropolis Reed Quintet perform at Ithaca College as a part of the Hockett Chamber Music Series. I was amazed by the capabilities of the ensemble, and I immediately fell in love with their unique sound. When I left the concert that afternoon, I had the unshakeable feeling that I would work with Akropolis Reed Quintet one day. Serendipitously, the opportunity to do so presented itself only a year later in the form of a commission from the 2018 Connecticut Summerfest.

The Sun Rising (2018) borrows its title from John Donne’s aubade of the same name. In Donne’s poem, the speaker mockingly chastises the sun, knowing that the coming of the day means that he will have to leave his lover’s side in bed. Although Donne’s poem has a much lighter tone than my piece, both works have in common the themes of leaving home and the passage of time. When I started The Sun Rising, I knew that it would be the last piece I would compose as a student at Ithaca College before I went on to pursue a master’s degree at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. Thus, the piece became a manifestation of my intense feelings of sadness over the end of my time in Ithaca and fear over the start of the next chapter in my life. The conclusion of the piece represents my acceptance that although the sun has risen and my time in Ithaca is coming to an end, the sun always sets, and I will be back again someday.