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Band | 2'15" | Beginner | 2023

for Concert Band

Escape - MIDI Mockup
00:00 / 02:15

When I was in high school, I read a series called "Escape from Furnace" by author, Alexander Gordon Smith. Throughout this five-book thriller, we follow Alex who is sentenced to spend time in Furnace Penitentiary; an underground hellhole full of pure evil with blood-soaked walls. With mysterious creatures abducting inmates out of their beds, and a warden whose eyes are black as night, Alex begins to wonder if escape is possible.

Inspired by this spin-chilling adventure, I composed a piece titled Escape that explored the thoughts and feelings I imagined a person, who found themselves in a similar situation as Alex, would have while devising and executing an escape plan - wondering if time would be on their side and the anxiety caused knowing you could be caught at any time. While the piece sounded epic, it was virtually unplayable. Now that 12 years have passed since the double-bar was originally reached, I decided to revisit the work and challenged myself to rewrite it for a young concert band. Retaining the piece's excitement and energy, its complex rhythms have been simplified to be more achievable by developing musicians. Will an escape be possible? Let's get going... the clock's ticking!

-  program note by Jonathan P. Kochik

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