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Kittinger’s Descent for 8 Trombones

In August 1960, U.S. Air Force pilot Joe Kittinger ascended in a high-altitude balloon 102,800 feet above the surface of the earth. As he leapt out of the gondola, Mr. Kittinger felt little sensation of falling due to the lack of air in the stratosphere. Depicting just moments before the 614 mph free-fall, the work opens with slowly forming clusters. Gaining intensity, these chords signify the sensation one must feel looking up to the blackness of space then peering down to the clouds below. Throughout the piece, a subtle trembling effect suggests the buffeting that can occur at high speeds. Kittinger's Descent is a fast-paced, turbulent ride honoring the man who broke records for highest balloon ascent, highest parachute jump, and longest and fastest free-fall by a human without the aid of a machine.


Score and Parts

Past Performances:

San Jose State University Trombone Choir
Tom Hornig, director
San Jose State Univ. Concert Hall
November 9, 2010

Kennesaw State University Trombone Choir
Tom Gibson, director
Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center Performance Hall
April 10, 2012
Duration: ca 4 1/2 minutes

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