Philip Sparke (b. 1951) is a prolific British composer, primarily of works for wind band and brass band. He studied at London’s Royal College of Music, where he played in the wind orchestra and started a student brass band. He has been commissioned by top world bands, including the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra and the US Air Force Band, and his compositions have won many awards, including the Sudler Prize (Dance Movements, 1997) and the NBA Revelli Composition Contest (Music of the Spheres, 2005).
Sparke describes the impetus for The Sun Will Rise Again in his own program notes:
On March 11th 2011 a massive 9.0- magnitude earthquake occurred off the coast of north-eastern Japan.
I’m writing these programme notes barely a week later and the death toll caused by the quake and resulting tsunami already exceeds 6000, with thousands of people still unaccounted for.
I have many friends associated with many bands throughout Japan and one of these, Yutaka Nishida, suggested I write a piece to raise money to help those affected by the disaster. I was immediately attracted by the idea and have arranged Cantilena (a brass band piece recently commissioned by the Grenland International Brass Festival, Norway) for wind band, giving it a new title to honour my friends in the Land of the Rising Sun.
I will be donating royalties from this piece to the Japanese Red Cross Society Emergency Relief Fund and am delighted to say that my distributors, De Haske, who will generously also donate all net profits from sales of this piece, have pledged a substantial advance payment to the Red Cross so that what little help this project generates can be immediate.
It is my sincere wish that this ‘Band Aid’ project will allow wind bands around the world support the people of Japan, where bands are a way of life for many, in this difficult time”.
Here’s the band version:
You can also read about (but not listen to) the original brass band version here.
Philip Sparke has an extensive website that is worth a look.