composer’s note: When conductor Jeremiah Cawley asked me to write a piece for his high school concert band, I wanted to take advantage of the things high school bands do wonderfully: namely, making music with huge amounts of energy, so much that it can be hard to contain. So “Dynamo” seeks to convert high-school-student energy into music, through a number of means. First, there are a lot of percussion parts, to deal with the often enormous supply of high-school percussionists. Second, aleatoric effects are written into the piece, where each player plays as fast or slow as they desire, creating a delightfully active cloud of sound within the harmonies given and giving students permission to ignore their conductor for a while. Third, Jeremiah told me he was working on the octatonic scale with his students, so “Dynamo” takes that scale as a jumping-off point in creating a harmonic world that feels easily understood by young listeners, but complex enough to be a little surprising and unexpected.