John Willmarth’s On Thin Air depicts what it might feel like to fly. The music evokes images of gliding, breathtaking views, and soaring high above the clouds. It is meant to evoke a sense of freedom, hopefulness, and wonder in the listener.
While the piece is written for younger groups with limited experience, it still communicates through a contemporary musical voice. The piece would also work well for more experienced middle school and high school ensembles with limited time to assemble and rehearse. Furthermore, to accommodate ensembles of different sizes and instrument capacities, five of the seven individual percussion parts are optional.