Pegasus (2005/2009) by Ben Wahlund

Players: 4

Instrumentation: Snare drum, marimba (5.0 octave), vibes, glockenspiel, bass drum, 3 woodblocks, shekere

Duration: 6 minutes

Program Note:

In Pegasus, a chamber piece for solo snare drum and percussion trio, Ben Wahlund creatively joins delicate snare drum passages with a groove-driven percussion section. The opening phrases are intimate and introspective with quiet dynamics and non-traditional snare drum sounds, but soon, reflection gives way to an exciting section characterized by interlocking rhythms between the snare drum and a trio of woodblocks. The trio moves on to a groove while the snare drum soloist launches into a virtuosic reprise of phrases found earlier in the work. As the piece looses momentum, more rhythms and phrases from the opening section reappear and the ensemble fades away.

Wahlund wrote: “Pegasus was written for a friend of mine at a time when he was struggling with some of his spiritual beliefs. He said that he felt most at peace with his faith when he was running, so this a soundtrack of sorts for one of his many contemplative runs, starting out somewhat pensive, taking pace, and giving way to jubilation. The image of Pegasus somehow seemed appropriate for him, though I’m not really sure why. It is worth noting that after, he served a tour of duty with the Army in Iraq and was able to arrive home safely, and is now happily married with a son.”

Ben Wahlund holds a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Mary in Bismarck, ND, and a Master’s Degree in Music Theory and Composition, as well as a Performance Certificate in Percussion from Northern Illinois University. Mr. Wahlund’s compositions are known for their creative use of percussion instruments and sounds, as well as their virtuosity. Additionally, Wahlund is the Program Director of the Birch Creek Percussion and Steel Band summer programs, serves as the director of percussion studies at Naperville Central High School in Naperville, IL, and owns and operates Black Dog Music Studios in Aurora, IL. – Christine Augspurger