Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs was commissioned by the United States Air Force Academy Band, Lieutenant Steve Grimo, Commmander/Conductor.

Colorado Springs, home of the USAF Academy, is set in spectacular landscape towards the southern end of the Rocky Mountains and is a popular tourist resort for skiing and hiking. The Academy plays an important part in the life of the area and serves as a base for the USAFA Band, one of the professional bands forming part of the musical life of the US Air Force.

The suite is in 3 movements:-

1. The Springs Fanfare

‘The Springs’ is the locals’ name for the town and this first movement starts with a stirring fanfare for brass and percussion, opening with bold unison horns. The rest of the brass join in and woodwind add decorative figures. After a short change of style, the opening material reappears to close the movement.

2. Seven Falls

Seven Falls is a spectacular waterfall near to the town which cascades 181 feet in seven distinct steps down a solid cliff of pikes peak granite. In this movement, high woodwinds describe the sparkling water as it descends to a popular lookout post near the bottom of the falls.

3. Pikes Peak

To the north-west of the town and reaching an altitude 14,110 feet, Pikes Peak is the farthest east of the big peaks in the Rocky Mountain chain, which contributed to its early fame among explorers and pioneers, and made it the symbol of the 1859 Gold Rush to Colorado with the slogan, ‘Pikes Peak or Bust’. It is the second-most visited mountain in the world behind Japan's Mount Fuji.

This atmospheric movement describes the majesty of the mountain and is based around the fanfare from the first movement. Opening on a solitary bassoon, it is not long before the main theme appears under bubbling woodwinds. The music reaches a passionate climax at which point the opening fanfare reappears to bring the whole work to a close.