Composer and Corvette enthusiast William Owens was born in Gary, Indiana in 1963. He graduated from Chicago’s VanderCook College of Music, and served as a band director in Texas until his retirement in 2014. He remains active as a clinician throughout the United States and Canada. He has also been extremely active as a composer since 1993, during which time he has written over 150 pieces and received several awards and commissions for his work.
Affirmation was a 2005 commission from the All-District Middle School Honors Band in Dallas, TX. Owens describes it and provides some performance notes in the score:
Strong and upright in structure, Affirmation is a musical roller coaster with sweeping melodic lines and rich colors that radiate limitless energy and excitement. The work was written for the All-District Middle School Honors Band of Dallas, Texas, and was premiered by the ensemble in January 2006, with the composer conducting.
In the beginning section, a stately trumpet melody, which is echoed by the low reeds and low brass, builds into a powerful hymn-like melody. The mood calms slightly with melody to the flutes and saxophones before building strong once again. The hymn is beautifully reintroduced by woodwinds and passed onto the full ensemble. The work then continues to an abrupt but rousing finish.
Here is Affirmation played by a real live middle school band, apparently under the composer’s direction:
You can also listen to a professional recording here.