Jodie Blackshaw's "Letter from Sado" for Monday, May 20, 2019

Australian composer Jodie Blackshaw is passionate about music for wind band and is fond of quoting her famous compatriot composer Percy Grainger on the subject: “Why this cold-shouldering of the wind band?” asked Grainger. “Is the wind band – with its varied assortments of reeds (so much richer that the reeds of the symphony orchestra), its complete saxophone family that is found nowhere else ... its army of brass – not the equal of any medium ever conceived? As a vehicle of deeply emotional expression it seems to me unrivalled.” For her part, Blackshaw has chosen to compose primarily for wind band. She also appears as a guest clinician and adjudicator for band festivals throughout Australia. “The Wind Band offers a varied and colorful contribution to instrumental music,” says Bradshaw, “and with literally millions of children world-wide entering musical performance through this medium, it is worthy of our serious attention.” On today’s date in 2014, a new work by Bradshaw intended for middle-school band students was premiered by the Rosemount Middle School Band of Rosemont, Minnesota, under the direction of John Zschunke. The new piece was titled, “Letter from Sado,” and was inspired by a Japanese haiku and traditional Japanese taiko drumming. This work is part of the BandQuest series commissioned by the American Composers Forum, intended to offer young musicians a diverse variety of fresh new wind band works by leading composers of our day.