Avalanche Lake

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Patrick Speranza

General Info

Publisher: Tapspace
Difficulty: Elementary
Duration: 00:02:20
Cost: $35.00


Player 1: Glockenspiel
Player 2: Vibraphone
Player 3: Xylophone
Player 4: Marimba 1
Player 5: Marimba 2
Player 6: Timpani
Player 7: Snare Drum
Player 8: Bass Drum
Player 9: Hand Cymbals
Player 10: Suspended Cymbal
Player 11: Triangle
Player 12: Tambourine
Player 13: Mark Tree


Avalanche Lake by Patrick Speranza was inspired by a trip to Glacier National Park. Patrick Speranza was inspired by the views of the forest mountains that surround the park and the long waterfalls that he witnessed on a five-mile hike. The piece features a standard array of percussion instruments which can be found in most middle, and high school band rooms making it easily accessible to any music program. With upbeat ostinatos and catchy, light-heated melodic content, Avalanche Lake is a perfect compliment to any beginning percussion concert program!


This cheerful sounding, 2-minute work for beginning percussion ensemble offers many pedagogical benefits as well as being engaging for the audience. Inspired by a visit to the Glacier National Park in Montana, the piece begins with a brief section of quiet, slow-tempo reflection before launching into an energetic faster tempo that portrays a sense of excitement and joy. The writing captures a distinct “movie music” or even drum corps-type sound that will be enjoyable for the students to perform.

The keyboard percussion parts take prominence throughout, with timpani and percussion instruments providing rhythmic reinforcement. All keyboard parts are written for two mallets, with most rhythms staying within quarter and eighth notes. Accessory parts are all intuitively written and do not require any advanced or extended techniques. Patrick Speranza’s orchestration for this level group is quite intelligent, as keyboard rhythms are often doubled in a non-melodic part, and there is always a solid quarter or eighth note rhythm somewhere in the scoring. This allows for a higher level of confidence for less experienced players, allowing the music to sound more difficult than it actually is!

In addition to its use on a beginning percussion ensemble concert, ‘’Avalanche Lake’’ would be ideal for an honor band festival or guest conducting experience. Parts can also be doubled, allowing for greater student participation or pairing younger and older students on a combined ensemble concert. [1]

Works for Percussion by this Composer

Avalanche Lake - Percussion 13
Freerider - Percussion 10
Riptide - Marimba; Percussion 10
In The Sky - Percussion 10


  1. Jason Baker Percussive Notes Volume 57, No. 3, July 2019