Note that there are two pages of Branches of
Wistaria on this page, pages one and twenty of the score.
Scroll down to see the second one.
The players committed to perform this piece before I launched
into working on it full steam. Unfortunately, the clarinet
player, the one I had talked to the most about it, backed out
rather inexplicably. Fortunately, U of I had no shortage of
capable clarinet players, and I was able get Max Tromblee, a
hard-working doctoral student in music education.
Flutist Tom Howell was an expert at playing multiple stops on
the flute. He distributed a catalog for composers of the chords
he had learned to play by overblowing and false fingerings. I
made abundant use of these in this piece.
Harpist Barbara Skully left a couple of rehearsals in tears out
of frustration over the difficulty of the piece, but in the end
came through beautifully. I had a great deal to learn in
composing this piece myself, and had studied some books on harp
and various pieces of contemporary harp music in order to learn
the proper way to notate the complicated pedal changes and
special effects that are possible.
Tuba player Mike Russell, my sidekick in the University
Orchestra and Civic Orchestra, used kid's pump top as a mute. It
not only muted the instrument in an interesting way, the
vibration of the instrument made the handle rattle, adding an
element of noise to the sound.
The scanned pages are of my only copy. It was used to
conduct the performance from. I do wish I had a fully engraved
copy. This one is fading and dirty, and written in pencil. It
also has all my conducting markings in it.