Storm Surge is a medium difficulty percussion ensemble piece that portrays a storm rampaging through a coastal town. The piece has a wide array of difficulty, so it will work well for groups that have multiple grade levels in one ensemble.
Large coastal storms like hurricanes are often slow-moving, which means residents can see them coming. The hours before the storm hits are eerily calm, with a slow buildup to powerful winds, driving rain, and of course, storm surges. A storm surge is when a storm’s wind pushes sea water up onto the coast, above normal tide levels, often completely flooding coastal areas. Storm surges are very dangerous and can be devastating to coastal towns.
Storm Surge captures this progression from eerie quiet to raucous destruction perfectly. The piece begins quietly enough, with the glockenspiel, marimba, and vibraphone moving through a simple, haunting melody. As the melody progresses, more instruments are added to the harmony, building up the tension until it crashes like waves upon the shore. The entire ensemble continues in a driving rhythm with a melancholy nautical melody, right up until the climactic conclusion.