Colors: A Celebration (2013)

Composed: December 2012
Duration: 8:20 min.
Premiere: October 12, 2013; Atlanta Freedom Bands & Members of the 2013 LGBA Conference;
Kathleen Nicole Fallin, conductor
Instrumentation: Piccolo, Flutes (1+2), Oboes (1+2), English Horn, Clarinet in Eb, Clarinets in Bb (1-3), Alto Clarinet in Eb (ad libitum); Bass Clarinet in Bb, Bassoons (1+2), Contra Basson (ad libitum); Alto Saxophones in Eb (1+2), Tenor Saxophone in Bb, Baritone Saxophone in Eb, Horns in F (1-4), Trumpets in Bb (1-3),Trombones (1-3), Euphonium, Tuba, String Bass; Harp; Timpani; Percussion (5 players)
Score: $34.95 (Conductor’s Score, 11″x17″, spiral bound)
$14.95 (Study Score, 8.5″x11″)
This work is available for complimentary download (score and parts) through our web store.
Parts: All parts can be downloaded for free through our web store.


Additional Information on the Premiere Performance:
Interview with composer Tim Jansa about the premiere of “Colors” on (October 11, 2013). 
Concert and conference review on WABE, Atlanta’s local NPR station (October 14, 2014).

Program Notes

Colors: A Celebration was commissioned by Atlanta Freedom Bands to commemorate its hosting the 2013 Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This work is a celebration of the diversity, strength and unbreakable spirit of the LGBT community.

The 8½-minute piece begins by roughly tracing the history of the Gay Rights Movement: beginning at the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the first Gay Pride March in New York City in 1970; gaining strength and prominence in the 1970s; suffering unspeakable tragedy and set-backs in the 1980s and ’90s and finally gaining momentum that is propelling it, step by step, toward the ultimate goal of allowing LGBT men and women to assume total equality in today’s society.
The work opens with a powerful, sudden, explosive and “colorful” thematic statement that is then repeated throughout: “We are here, and we are here to stay.” A march-like motif, somber at first, quickly gains clarity and strength, depicting a community gradually defining and asserting itself. After a brief climactic moment, a trumpet solo theme heralds courage and despair, joy and tragedy, the will to go on tempered by doubts about the ultimate outcome. These three motifs and themes form the major building blocks of Colors.

At the end of the exposition, the mood quickly brightens, the tempo picks up, and the “good times” begin by depicting LGBT men and women in all their colorful and diverse nature: artistic, quirky, mischievous, physical, loving – and everything in-between. (Listen for a number of small musical quotes and puns along the way!) This fun section eventually leads into a depiction of our community “coming of age”, and ultimately the climactic finale of Colors combines all previous motifs and themes, pitting them against each other until they reach a rousing celebration of equality and victory over bias, ill-will and hatred. The work ends with (wedding?) bells ringing and a final glorious statement of the main theme.


The composer would like to express his sincere gratitude to Atlanta Freedom Bands, its musicians, board of directors and artistic staff, for the honor of collaborating with them on this project that is so close to his heart. It was a true pleasure working with such an able ensemble and its members who share a true love and enthusiasm for the LGBT community and its cause.