FLIGHT of the HAWKS (concert band)


FLIGHT of the HAWKS (concert band)


Concert Band (Grade 2)

ca. 4:00

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Flight of the Hawks was commissioned by the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (Canada) in partnership with the University of Ottawa.

The Heritage Public School band premiered the piece in May 2015, conducted by Jennifer Stewart.

Duration: ca. 4:00

Concert Band (Grade 2)

Clarinet in Bb 1 + 2
Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone
Tenor Saxophone
Baritone Saxophone
Trumpet in Bb 1 + 2
Horn in F
Baritone / Euphonium
String Bass / Electric Bass

Mallets: bells, xylophone

Timpani (3)

Percussion 1: wind chimes, vibra slap,
drum kit (snare drum, 3 tom-toms, bass drum)

Percussion 2: wind chimes, vibra slap, 
suspended or ride cymbal, anvil or brake drum



When I was commissioned to write a new piece for the Heritage Public School band in Navan, I looked for a way to celebrate their school as well as their lovely part of Ontario in the National Capital Region. The Heritage school mascot is a hawk, and I happen to be a bird lover. 

Red-tailed hawks are the most common raptor in Ontario, so I began to imagine a piece that would capture the majesty of the bird – and the fierce dedication of Heritage students. Flight of the Hawks contains two musical “scenes”. In the first section of the piece, the red-tails are soaring high above the land. In the second section the hawks are in full hunting mode, diving after prey with their claws extended.

The distinctive call of the red-tailed hawk is a sound that most people have heard, sometimes without realising. Film and TV sound designers often use their cry as a stand-in for other birds of prey, like bald eagles, who don’t actually sound as majestic as they look. I brought recordings of red-tail calls to Navan school and asked the students to try to reproduce them on their instruments. The resulting “hawk call” effects for flute, oboe (or alto sax), percussion, and even the full band found their way into the piece. I’d like to thank the students of Heritage Public School, and music teacher Jennifer Stewart, for their invaluable contributions to this fun (and majestic, and ferocious) piece of music.

- Alex Eddington