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Hypersonic (Movement III from "To the Moon and Back") • Grade 3 • Flex

Hypersonic (Movement III from "To the Moon and Back") • Grade 3 • Flex

SKU: 000001

Click here to view a perusal score.


Click here to listen to an MP3 rendering.

TO THE MOON AND BACK is a three-movement concert work, written with flexible instrumentation. While all three movements create one larger work, each of the movements is crafted to stand alone as an individual performance piece. Written in the summer of 2020, the piece is an artistic response to the challenges facing the world during the COVID-19 pandemic. The loss, struggle, and challenges of the time in many ways parallel those of the 1960's. During the sixties, a time of tremendous social and political turbulence, humanity looked to the stars to find common purpose and hope.


Mvmt. III.  Hypersonic

Spacecraft travel faster than the speed of sound as they re-enter Earth's atmosphere, making them hypersonic. Typical re-entry
speed can get close to 17,500 miles per hour. Manned aircraft require a thermal protection system as they hurtle toward Earth's
surface to protect them from the heat. A loud explosive noise caused by the shock wave from an aircraft traveling faster than the
speed of sound is known as a sonic boom, which can be heard as a returning spacecraft is pulled in by earth's gravity. A slow down
to subsonic speed is necessary before landing or splashing down. In this movement, we hear and feel the intensity of re-entry!

  • Included Files and Flex Info

    Included: PDF of score and parts (a separate file for each part); MP3 rendering (NotePerformer); XML file


    TO THE MOON AND BACK is an original composition for flexible instrumentation. The score includes a variety of instruments for each of the five wind/string parts. Create a complete ensemble even if traditional instrumentation is not be available. Tempo changes are optional for remote rehearsals or performances of the piece. Maintaining a steady pulse may be helpful if playing with a click track.


    ALTERNATIVE INSTRUMENTATION: Directors may make alternative instrumentation choices based on ensemble needs. Bass clarinetists can play tenor saxophone parts for more upper register experience. Involve more percussionists by providing wind/ string parts to play on keyboard instruments. You may even decide to perform the piece with all like instruments. Whatever works for your group is appropriate. "Flexible" is the key word here.


    XML FILE INCLUDED: The XML file contains the full score. Import the XML file to your favorite notation software to customize parts as needed. Transpose parts, shift octaves, or make other modifications to meet your ensemble needs. If using a digital practice/ assessment program with your students, hopefully you can also use the XML file to provide practice, play along, and assessment opportunities.


    PERCUSSION: The percussion parts are interesting and engaging, but not required. Each movement of the piece can function without percussion if necessary. Groups can perform the entire piece with only one player on each of the five wind/string parts. Or, add any wind/string parts on keyboards for more percussion involvement. Reassign all wind/string parts to create a percussion ensemble.


    CONTACT ME: Please feel free to reach out if I can be of help to you. I hope you find this piece to be a valuable resource to you and your program. If I can help in any way, please email me at or visit Thank you!

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