Tony Wood, 2013 | Photo by Emily Wood


Grade: 4  Year: 2018  DURATION: 6 min PUBLISHER: Tyler S. Grant Music Works, LLC.


    For the longest time, I’ve admired the paintings of Frederic Edwin Church. Being one of the Hudson River School painters, his work often reflects the vast complexities of nature while capturing monumental occasions in American history. 

    The piece Banner in the Sky is inspired by Church’s well-known painting of a similar name: Our Banner in the Sky. While not influenced by the painter’s aim to convey patriotism, the piece seeks to portray the textures and colors similar to Church’s masterpiece. The lyrical passages are reminiscent of his portrayal of the American landscape, while the quick-paced sections reflect the fiery orange sky that lights up the night with warmth and passion. The work constantly changes in depth and texture, however is rooted in a singular three note motif that ties the major and minor tonalities together. 

   Banner in the Sky was commissioned by the Georgia Wind Symphony in honor of the retirement of Dr. David Gregory- their founder and conductor. In the years I have known Dr. Gregory, his passion for teaching and conducting overflows on his students and colleagues, and his advocacy for music education is a banner that he continues to wave proudly in the state of Georgia, the United States, and around the world.

Tyler S. Grant