New England Sextets

Price: $14.95
New England Sextets
by Frank A. Wallace

three movements for guitar orchestra in six parts

Preview: a sample PDF of New England Sextets

Duration: 9 minutes; 20 pages

Difficulty level: Easy; mostly single notes, extended range for some parts

Instrumentation: 6 classical guitars

Commissioned by: John Zevos for the Timberlane Regional High School Guitar Orchestra

Written: fall, 2010

World premiere: December, 2010 by Timberlane Regional High School Guitar Orchestra

All Gyre compositions are ASCAP.
Copyright ©2015 Frank A. Wallace
Cover photography and design by Nancy Knowles
All rights reserved.

With great appreciation to Chuck Hulihan, director of the Glendale Community College Guitar Sextet

New England Sextets were originally conceived as a suite for guitar orchestra of 12 or more. It was subsequently arranged for mandolin orchestra or quartet without bass in which the guitar part takes on a larger roll and is consequently more difficult. The three movements are in contrasting styles, basically slow, fast, slow with the inner movement being a bluesy and clashing vamp and the outer two are in a contrapuntal style, each part playing single lines. Some high notes above the 12th fret.

North Branch On an irregular basis I drive to Keene NH on Rt. 9 from Antrim. It is not dramatic, like the Tetons, but it is as beautiful a drive as one could wish for. It begins at Steele Pond, periodically encounters the North Branch River on the right as it tumbles over New Hampshire’s famous granite boulders; raging in a spring thaw, timid and nearly stifled in a late summer heat wave; beautifully filling an ancient Cedar swamp and meandering through many a meadow.

Loveren Mill Off to the right, invisible to the passing car, is the site of old Loveren Mill. long gone, I imagine it’s noisy hay day. Saws filling the mill with timber that were loudly hacked into boards. Not a pretty sight for a tree hugger! Thus the noisy, bluesy chords that characterize this piece.

Monadnock Towards the end of this 30 minute trip one sees the not-so-majestic Mt. Monadnock, mysteriously the most climbed mountain in the world. For this Californian, I always thought this mere bump in the horizon was not worthy of the crown – until last August my son finally challenged me. The mountain almost won! But I made it and discovered its power. On top, it is truly a king! With a 360 degree view, bitter winds, and barren rocky nooks for cold climbers to nestle in, it deserves its reputation. My piece can be seen as a hike to the top that starts with a distant view of its rolling and lovely profile.