1. Gulf Breezes

From the recording Gulf Breezes

2005 • Estimated timing: 6'45" • Grade 3
Gulf Breezes was commissioned by Region XV of the Texas Music Educators Association for the 2004-2005 Coakley Middle School Symphonic Band's TMEA Honor Band performance, Joseph and Barbara Figarelli, directors. The composer writes, "Gulf Breezes is a musical realization of a special occasion with my family. When I was younger, my grandparents and I would make our way from Mercedes, Texas to South Padre Island to fish off of the pier. I loved to fish with them. My memories of those trips also included the physical sensation of the warm and cool breeze, the salty smell, and the spray of the water against my face. In one direction, you could see the bridge to the island, and in other direction, the horizon. When Joe Figarelli asked me to write a piece for him and his kids, it did not take long for the 'valley' connection to be made.
Gulf Breezes is a nature tone poem in four stages. The first section depicts the nonchalant and unpredictable course of water using a technique of allegory or 'chance music'. Each member of the ensemble follows their own path - within reason. The second stage represents the motion, which lies beneath the surface, the current. Following this brisk and fluid section comes music more reflective and tranquil. I titled the third section, the warm wind. The finale takes us to the horizon and all of its splendor. Gulf Breezes is dedicated to my grandmother Chepa Serna."
Finalist in Category Two of the 2006 Frank Ticheli Composition Contest