Ponce – The Quest for the Fountain of Youth

Medium: Concert Band/ Wind Ensemble

Although Christopher Columbus is credited for discovering North America in 1492, Ponce de Leon is commonly thought of as being the first European to discover Florida. On April 2, 1513 Ponce de Leon’s three ships landed on the east coast of Florida. He named it La Florida in recognition of the lush landscape and because it was the Easter season, which the Spaniards called Pascua Florida (Festival of Flowers). The town at this spot is called Ponce Inlet. According to a popular legend, Ponce de León discovered Florida while searching for the Fountain of Youth though stories of vitality-restoring waters were known on both sides of the Atlantic long before Ponce de León’s voyage. This composition presents a programatic story of what the Florida excursion of Ponce de León may have been like. Beginning – “Land Ho!” – The coast of Florida is sighted. A (measure 31) – “Landing on the Beach” B (m 83) – “Dreaming of the Fountain of Youth” C (m 79) – Getting Ready for the “Quest” D (m 94) – Walking to Find the “Fountain of Youth” E (m 116) – A Water Spring is Found – They drink this special water. F (m 134) – Is the Water Working? G (m 161) – It Feels Like It’s Working. H (m 193) – Yes, This Must be the “Fountain of Youth”. I (m 211) – Let’s Go Back and Tell the World! The rehearsal letters above clearly outline a Sonata Allegro form. During the first years of the Twenty-first Century approximately one thousand people a day have moved to Florida (15.3 million people in 2000 compared to 21.4 million people in 2020), making it the state with the most growth in the country. Many Florida state immigrants are retirees looking for the “Florida Fountain of Youth” – some have even found it! Performance note: At E (measure 116) the sound of the Fountain of Youth is depicted by pouring water from one pitcher to the other. Another option may be to use a recording of a water fountain. There are many reinforcement cue options throughout the piece that are already in the parts, such as having alto saxophones and/or trumpets play with the horns at the beginning. Instrumentation is Piccolo, 2 Flutes. 2 Oboes, 2 Bassoons, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 3 Trumpets, 4 Horns, 3 Trombones, Euphonium, Tuba, Timpani, Percussion (3 players – snare drum, bass drum, triangle, suspended cymbal, tam tam, castanets, crash cymbals, water pitchers (2) wind chimes, bells, crotales) Double bass


3-Jul-21 by La Lira de Pozuelo - Madrid, Spain

Commissioned by

La Lira de Pozuelo - Madrid, Spain


Semi Finalist for the American Prize - Concert Band Division 2022