James Barnes Chance: composer
John Barnes Chance (1932-1972) was born in Beaumont, Texas. In high school he played percussion in the school orchestra and began composing. Chance went on to study at the University of Texas where he received both bachelor's and master's degrees. His composition teachers included Clifton Williams, Kent Kennan, and Paul Pick. After studying at the University of Texas, Chance played timpani in the Austin Symphony Orchestra. He also played percussion, conducted and arranged music for the Fourth U.S. Army Band in San Antonio. Later, he joined the Eighth U.S. Army Band in Korea. After his discharge from the army, Chance was selected by the Ford Foundation to be part of the Young Composers Project. He was composer-in-residence from 1960 to 1962 at Greensboro, North Carolina public schools. There he composed seven pieces for school ensembles including his first work for band, Nocturne and Dance, which later became Incantation and Dance. Throughout his short career, Chance composed for band, orchestra, chorus, chamber groups and solo instruments. Chance's brief yet successful career was ended abruptly when he was accidentally electrocuted in the back yard of his home in Lexington, Kentucky in 1972 at the age of 40.
Year of publication: 1977
Publisher: Boosey & Hawkes
Type of composition: symphony
Style: Varies within piece
Programming Suggestions: “Symphony for Winds” was composed in 1961. It was revised and completed just before his death in 1972. It is a 3 movement work based on the four note motif C#, D, F, E.
Solo instruments: Horn, Oboe, Flute, Clarinet, timpani.
Anecdotal notes: Repeated passages may be confusing to following. Numerous meter and key changes. Many runs have unusual patterns. Requires a strong mallet player in some sections. Some parts do not have a universal articulation style across the ensemble. Sudden dynamic changes will take good control by players. Endurance is also required to play this long piece.
Discography: Inaugurals & New Beginnings . Eastern Kentucky Symphonic Band