GRADE 1 & 2


Celestial Seas is a musical story covering the next 5 billion years as it pertains to our galaxy, the Milky Way and its eventual collision with the Andromeda Galaxy which is currently approximately 2.5 million light-years away from the Milky Way. By mathematically fast forwarding time, scientists also agree that none of the planets will collide with each other since they are all spread so far apart. Such distances are hard to imagine. The actual size of planets, measurements in light years and time passing not by thousands of years but by billions is di(cult for the mind to grasp. Our sun is 1,287,000 times larger than Earth. It takes more than a million earths in mass to equal that of the sun. In relation to time and size we as humans become so very small and insignificant, like a grain of sand on a beach that is on a grain of sand on a larger beach a million times over which is still too significant a representation of a human. Five billion years from now as the collision starts, there will be no humans on earth to see the extraordinary light show that will go on for thousands of years because our sun will be so much stronger by then on its nova journey, the surface of the Earth will be burned to a crisp. Some scientists think Mars may be far enough away. I look at it like this. All we have to do is a little planet hopping over the next 4 billion years and we won't have to travel too terribly far to find a new home because an entire galaxy is going to pay us a visit.

Celestial Seas opens up with humans represented by 3 notes which make up a 6 note melody. Those three notes are the building blocks for the entire work which takes us from now to the collision of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies and beyond. Extreme dynamic contrasts, crescendos and decrescendos, the constant changing of chords and tempos and the continuous variations of the original melody are all musical attempts to keep us constantly sailing chronologically and physically on celestial seas.

Celestial Seas
A grade 4 work

Commissioned by the
Missouri Bandmasters Association
for the 39th Anniversary of the Missouri All-State Band
Premieredat the 77th Annual Missouri Music Educators Association Conference
January 31, 2015.

Recording of the Louisville Winds,
Nan Moore conductor
Composer Julie Giroux conducting this recording/performance