The Life of King David: Concerto for Marimba and Band

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Russell Peterson

General Info

Year: 2004
Duration: c.
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Music by Russell Peterson
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00   |   Score Only - $0.00


I. Shepherd Boy
II. Giant Slayer
III. King of Judah



Program Notes

The Life of King David: Concerto for Marimba and Band, was commissioned by Marc Wooldridge and Northwestern College (IA) Symphonic Band directed by Timothy McGarvey. It was composed in the summer of 2004 and is in 3 movements that depict various stages in King David's life.

Program note:

The first movement, Shepherd Boy, describes his humble beginnings. The movement starts with a prerecorded tape sounds, featuring a vocalist that sings a Middle Eastern folk-like melody. This serves as a kind of call to worship, or a shepherd singing to his flock in the open field. The band enters with the percussion section on hand drums and the solo marimbist playing a steady 16th note figure. The band rarely reaches a forte level in the movement, but accompanies the marimba in subtle, melodic way. The tape sound returns at the end of the movement and the marimba and English horn trade melodies with the singer.

The second movement, Giant Slayer, depicts David's battle with the giant Goliath. The movement begins with anxiety and fear as David approaches his battle. The band drops out leaving the solo marimba to play a dramatic, 4 octave melody that represents David's finale prayer before facing Goliath. As the giant approaches David we hear his footsteps and David's sling whirling around. The rock is released and the giant falls.

The third movement, King of Judah, begins with mumblings in the crowd, as disbelief that this simple boy has slain the fearsome giant. The brass flourish symbolizes David's triumph and later appointment as King of Judah. The solo marimba begins the celebration with an up tempo Middle Eastern dance. The tempo and excitement continue to build through this movement, displaying the virtuosity of the solo marimbist.

This is a performance of the piece with Marc Wooldridge, marimba, and the Concordia College band, Scott Hagen conductor: [1]

Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Percussion Orchestra - Percussion Ensemble (12); Saxophone; Piano
Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra (Peterson) - Timpani; Orchestra
Sonata for Alto Saxophone and 4 Marimbas - Percussion Quartet; Marimba Quartet; Saxophone
The Life of King David: Concerto for Marimba and Band - Marimba; Band

Additional Resources


  1. Russell Peterson's Works Retrieved 5/19/2012