Ohio native and Cleveland-based composer Greg Hillis is also an active hornist, educator, and conductor. He has played, both as section player and soloist, with several symphony orchestras, and his compositions have been played across the USA.
Alpha Squadron was published in 2003 and was “composed for the band students at Millridge Elementary School, Highland Heights, Ohio.” Marked vivace, it is indeed a lively piece for young band which demands attention to style, dynamics, and articulation in a technically comfortable context. Naxos has made a professional recording available on YouTube:
The title may refer to the Imperial Alpha Squad from the Star Wars universe, or Alpha Squadron from the new X-Men comics, or the Blood Hawks from Star Craft, or any other elite attack unit in reality or fiction. Whatever the case, the music invokes the intense air battles and moments of quiet that might be experienced by all three of these groups. Learn more about Alpha Squadron the band piece at J.W. Pepper, Alfred Music, and Sheet Music Plus.