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The Jig is Up, for wind ensemble, begins with an original tune in Irish folk style that is joined by a full gamut of percussion instruments. A driving rhythmic jam culminates in a chorale and an exciting tutti finish.
Commissioned by a consortium of ten Minnesota colleges, this work has proven to be very popular with high school, community, college and professional bands.
My original intent in composing The Jig is Up was to create a playful, lighthearted tune and dance as an homage to composer Percy Grainger, whose music for winds I have always admired and whose biography I had recently read. The main “jig” theme, while an original melody, has the sound and feel of an Irish folk tune. However, other ethnic elements found their way into the work, particularly in the percussion “jam” that underscores a large portion of the middle and end of the composition. A chorale-like segment comes out of the first jam and then transitions back to the 6/8 jig tune. With a return to the percussion tutti, the winds build to a unison flourish to conclude the piece.
The Jig Is Up is also included in Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 9 (Grades 2-3). This landmark series provides teacher resource guides for 100 works for wind band, Grades 2-6.