Groth Music home

To Be a Wolf - Concert Band

Catalog: W-501

Price: $80.00


"To Be a Wolf... was written to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Altimira Middle School in Sonoma, CA.  With the assistance of their band director Carolyn Niehaus, the Altimira music students presented several concepts to jump-start the creation of the piece.  Some had to do with the school mascot, the wolf, so I listened to recordings of wolf packs howling in what is known as a "chorus howl."  The motif that first appears in he flutes and saxophones at measure 24 and 25 is based on a fragment I heard in one of the recordings.  I also chose a call-and-response element to the piece as a hallmark of the wolf pack howls.

The students also came up with the form, based on a more personal element.  In 2017 (one year prior to the beginning the commission process), the devistating Tubbs Fire in the surrounding area forced widespread evacuations and school closures, including Altimira.  Students and their families were among those who lost their homes or were otherwise directly affected by the fire.  Ms. Niehaus's class suggested that the piece start out with a "happy mood around school," then a contrasting section relating to the fires, and finishing off by "returning to happy, because we're a family."  The resulting contrast section in the middle (m. 38), is more subdued, with open harmonies and less call-and-response to that the music can be filled back in when everyone comes together again for the final repeat of the "happy" main melody statement."

-Mollie Budiansky

Concert Band, grade level 1.5 - score and parts included

Mollie Budiansky ยท (MIDI Demo) To Be a Wolf...

Publisher: Murphy Music
Composer/Author: Budiansky, Mollie
Catalog Number: W-501