for wind ensemble
Duration: 9 minutes
Commissioned by a consortium led by California State University—Long Beach
Study Score available for purchase HERE
Listen below to the LSU wind ensemble in a live performance led by Donald J. McKinney.
My daughter, Avelynn, arrived on a spring morning with a pep in her step. Since day one, she has had the energy of three babies (although, to be honest, I’m not sure how that is measured). Our nighttime routine has become set in stone. I give her a bath, put her in her pajamas, and we read a book or two. And then we come to my favorite portion of the routine: the lullabies. Doing my part, I sing her slow lullabies while rocking her, and she does her part, fighting the onset of sleep. By far her favorite lullaby is the one my mother used to sing to me: “Sail Far Away, Sail Across the Sea, Only don’t forget to Sail, back again to me.” At least, I thought it was the one my mother used to sing to me. I got curious about the rest of the verses and found that the piece was written in 1898 by Alice Riley and Jesse Gaynor and has only a passing resemblance to the song I remember my mother singing to me. Better yet, it has virtually no resemblance to the lullaby I had been singing to Avelynn! So, Avelynn’s Lullaby is both a journey of daddy trying to coax daughter to sleep and a journey of daughter enjoying the song, fighting sleep, and eventually succumbing to slumber.