From the composer….
I have always been enthralled with Americana, specifically the geography, history, and cultural ideas of this country. When John Glenn passed away at the end of my first semester at Ohio State, I began to reflect on his remarkable legacy and contributions to our national landscape as a veteran, astronaut, and senator. Given John and Annie Glenn’s close connections with The Ohio State University, this piece presented itself as an ideal project to work on with the Symphonic Band. My key source of inspiration comes from John Glenn’s quote “I don’t know what you could say about a day in which you have seen four beautiful sunsets.” in which he reflects on his experience looking down at earth while in orbit and the title “Mercury’s Glimpse” is in reference to the Mercury Program which Glenn participated in during his first trip around the earth. This piece is somewhat programmatic. In the beginning the main theme is presented in the French horns and meant to evoke the idea of someone looking up at the sky thinking about going in to space. Listeners will then hear a build-up to a lift off which fades into the distance as the ship disappears into the sky above. This transitions into a larger chorale like section meant to evoke the peaceful view of earth from the window of a space capsule. Finally the piece concludes with a triumphant flourish of celebration looking back on the life and contributions of one of America’s great pioneers in space exploration.