The Groundhog’s Lament

Awakening, increasing anticipation, and stark disappointment are in store for the groundhog on his big day in February. (Level/Grade 2-3). Wind ensemble.



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Wind ensemble. Duration: 2’30”


(Boosey & Hawkes promo recording)


Composer’s Notes

This piece was commissioned by the American Composers Forum and is published by Boosey & Hawkes in their Windependence Series (Level/Grade 2-3). The program notes contained in the score read: “Nestled down deep underground in its burrow, a groundhog slumbers on well into the third month of a long winter’s nap, dreaming cozy dreams about the coming of a warm spring. Suddenly it stirs, sensing a primal need to awaken. It yawns…stretches…then remembers why it has woken up. It is February 2, a day set aside specifically for the creature to perform an important task. Slowly, still half asleep, it begins to make its way up from the burrow. As it ascends, the anticipation of the coming moment gradually awakens and excites the groundhog. Faster and faster it ascends until, finally — ah, fresh air! After a couple of magnificent gulps, the animal remembers its purpose. It looks to the ground and sees, alas, its own shadow! Disappointed (as will be so many of the rest of us), the groundhog descends once again, finally settling back down in the corner of its dark, cool underground home. It resumes the long nap, hopeful that it still have a six week supply of spring dreams to help it through the remainder of winter hibernation.”