top of page

Zero to Sixty

Concert Band


Grade 1


2 minutes


Recorded by the Atlanta Wind Symphony. Dr. David Kehler, conductor.

00:00 / 01:50


You’d think that a composer that writes a piece about roller coasters must be an avid thrill-seeker, right? Well…

On a recent band trip to Orlando, my students picked up on my lifelong fear of heights. Knowing that I would do anything for my students, they insisted that their trip would be complete if I agreed to ride the “big” rides with them. Against my better judgment, I agreed. While I could do without the height of these steel beasts, I was surprised to find the most enjoyment out of the launch coasters. Instead of a slow ascent up a large hill, a forceful blast-off presses you into your seat as you accelerate from zero to sixty miles per hour in under three seconds. Zero to Sixty is a musical depiction of an adrenaline-filled thrill ride that consistently increases in intensity and speed.

Notes to Conductor


The objective of this work is to reinforce notes from the chromatic scale. It is suggested to introduce chromaticism prior to programming this work.  It is also suggested to utilize the included supplemental exercises to provide additional reinforcement.


The first 5 measures should be conducted freely with approximately 5 seconds of duration for each cue. Musicians with boxed notes should repeat the pitches for the entire duration of each cue. It is suggested that the performers play the note groups slowly at first, then slowly increase speed with each subsequent cue.

It is critical that students play the note groups at a speed that produces characteristic tone. This effect only works if each pitch is played with clarity from each individual player. It is the responsibility of the conductor to monitor the speed that achieves this effect.


bottom of page