A programmatic piece, Transitions references the navigation of the River Medway from Maidstone to Tonbridge, and its eventual decline due to the arrival of the steam train at Tonbridge. Though continuous, it is divided into sections; 1) the quiet, mysterious river, 2) the navigation of the river, involving lock-building and the proceeding barges pulling goods, 3) The arrival of the steam train
Commissioned by Ian Stephens on behalf of
KCC's Music Education Grant funding,
Transitions involves instrumentalists of varying musical abilities, from elementary to advanced, affording them an exciting, large-scale musical experience. The beginner's parts involve singing and percussion, as well as playing instruments. Instrumental parts are scored for Soprano,
alto, and tenor/ bass instruments, enabling
a wide range of musical instruments
The score is divided into sections, enabling parts to be learnt in short segments. Much of the percussion and singing can be easily taught and learnt by ear. The students need only to be guided when to play and stop. The beginner's instrumental parts are almost all tutti, so they support each other. The note range is purposely limited, allowing each student to feel they can partake in the piece.