Waterplace Park (orchestra winds and percussion)

Medium: Orchestra

Waterplace Park was commissioned by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra at the request of Music Director, Larry Rachliff. Maestro Rachliff asked for a piece composed solely for orchestral winds, brass and percussion to be performed as the opening piece (overture) by the Philharmonic on March 23, 2013. It was premiered by the The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra on that date, Larry Rachliff conducting. On July 9, 2019 Waterplace Park was performed at the Palacio de Música, in Buñol, Spain by the Banda Sinfónica of the Conservatorio Profesional de Música San Rafael, Eduardo Carrascosa, Conductor; as part of the WASBE (World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles) Composition Competition. It was awarded 2nd Prize. In composing Waterplace Park, I wanted to write a fun and jovial piece showcasing the different colors and textures of the woodwind, brass and percussion sections of the Philharmonic. I also wanted to feature five instrumentalists who are not usually seen as soloists – bass clarinet, marimba, bass trombone, piccolo and timpani. The piece is programmatic in nature in that it depicts five people on their way to a popular meeting place in Providence – Waterplace Park. Each solo instrument has its own thematic melody with a distinctive personality. After a brief opening by the entire ensemble the mischievous bass clarinet and marimba walk towards the park talking about their favorite cartoons from childhood. After a short interlude by the double reed choir, the hopeful, romantic bass trombone walking alone contemplates a “lost love”. After another interlude the piccolo and timpani provide a picture of a married couple arguing about domestic chores that still need to be accomplished. All five arrive at the park at the same time and they exchange their previous conversations. Here all five themes are presented together in harmony. Waterplace Park is an urban park situated along the Woonasquatucket River in downtown Providence, Rhode Island. Finished in 1994, Waterplace Park is connected to 3/4 mile of cobblestone-paved pedestrian walkways along the waterfront known as Riverwalk. Venice-styled Pedestrian bridges cross the river. Most of Riverwalk is below street level and automotive traffic. Waterplace Park and Riverwalk together are host to Providence’s popular summertime Waterfire events, a series of bonfires lit on the river accompanied by Classical and World music.
The instrumentation of Waterplace Park is Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, English Horn, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, Contra Bassoon, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Bass Trombone, Tuba, Timpani, Bass Drum, Claves, Vibraphone, Crotales, Tam-tam, Marimba, Suspended Cymbal, Glockenspiel, Snare Drum, Wood Block, Xylophone, Triangle, 4 Tenor Drums and Crash Cymbals.


23-Mar-13 by Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra

Commissioned by

Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra


2nd Prize WASBE Composition Competition 2019