Florida native Scott McAllister (b. 1969) is an Associate Professor of Composition at Baylor University. His award-winning music has been featured at festivals and in performances in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He has been commissioned by organizations around the world. A personal tragedy ultimately led him to composition, as he explains in the program notes (compiled from his website and the Wind Repertory Project) to 2013’s Gone:
Gone for wind ensemble is a transcription of the sixth movement from my sixty-minute concerto for clarinet, the Epic Concerto. Each movement of the concerto relates to different pillar moments of my life as a clarinetist. In 1994, my playing career was ended in an automobile accident. Gone is about loss and the emotions and process of healing and learning to move on after a life-changing event.
This unique work in the concerto and wind ensemble version challenges the musicians and the audience to experience the music in a meditative and prayerful way. My goal was to draw memories of loss and comfort for those who experience the composition.
The inspiration for the wind ensemble version was the death of my mentor James Croft, and the wonderful influence he was in my life with his encouragement to never forget about writing for the band.
McAllister achieves the meditative and mournful texture of Gone with extremely soft, sustained playing in every instrument, as well as spooky and distant percussion effects. This makes it much more difficult than it looks on paper. While it is technically a grade 4 piece, it takes extremely mature players to really achieve what McAllister is after.
Below, the Baylor University Wind Ensemble plays Gone. Wait until the applause at the end to see just how quietly they are playing, a very difficult feat for even the very best wind players: