Program Notes

The writing of Be Ever the Hope came at the request of Mallory Thompson, conductor of the Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Northshore Concert Band. She asked for a slow piece that would be melodic, lyrical, convey a sense of positivity, and be playable by a wide range of concert bands.

The form is typical of a song – introduction, verse 1, chorus 1, verse 2, bridge, chorus 2, outro. The introduction contains foreshadowing snippets of the primary melodies of the verse and chorus, interspersed with percussion metallic sparkles. An oboe solo initiates the first theme (verse) and the brass responds with the second theme (chorus). The orchestration expands and moves forward through a bridge section to culminate in an emotional climax at the end of the second chorus passage.

The writing of the piece flowed easily, but finding the right title was a challenge. With certain pieces, the title becomes evident at some point in the writing process. But in other situations, such as in this case, the writing finishes, while the right title remains only a vague notion.

The reason for writing the piece was because of Mallory. Aside from being an incredible musician, she is a very hopeful person. I believe the piece reflects that quality in her and the piece is for her. As I reflected on those thoughts, the best title of the piece became clear – Mallory’s middle name is Beth.

Performance by the Northshore Concert Band (IL).


Flute 1 & 2
Oboe 1 & 2
Bassoon 1 & 2
Bb Clarinet 1, 2, 3
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone 1 & 2
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet 1, 2, 3
F Horn 1, 2, 3, 4
Trombone 1, 2, 3



Percussion 1:


Percussion 2:


Percussion 3:
Chimes, Crotales (if crotales are not available, piano can be used)


Percussion 4:
Triangle, Suspended Cymbal, Crash Cymbals, Bass Drum

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Other pieces by Jay Kennedy