W H O A !


for wind quintet (2018)




6 min.


flute, oboe, Bb clarinet, F horn, bassoon

Program Notes

W H O A ! is a piece commissioned by the Woodwind Quintet Faculty of the Bay View Music Festival in Petoskey, MI.

It’s inspired by Two Roads, a simple poem my wife Maria wrote in 2015 about her late paint horse unexpectedly bolting during a ride in the wilderness. Over the hills and through the woods is an understatement regarding Forte’s sudden sprint. Starting off with a simple walk, the energetic creature sent Maria into a whirlwind of a short-but-rapid adventure, ultimately coming to a stop with a fired-up horse eager to return home. Twists and turns, unexpected meter changes, and melodic interruptions. Flute flourishes, horn rips, and clarinet glissandi. Dodging branches and fallen trees. A walk to a gallop and a gallop to a halt. These are but a few of the many ideas interspersed, creating a sonic scenario that will throw you onto the back of a charging horse.

Two Roads:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood.
Rapidly we approached, he was charging
as strong as a warrior into battle.
“Whoa!” I commanded, but the fire
I rode upon misunderstood.
Pulling back, pressuring his mouth,
I wasn’t trying to ruin his fun–
but the beast’s euphoria disagreed
on this spontaneous run.
Down and sideways, up and out, four hooves defied
gravity while two feet met with earth.
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
and beside my horse I now stood.
– Maria Manfredonia, 2015

Tony Manfredonia

Tony is a composer and orchestrator living in Petoskey, MI, providing a multi-layered and sensory experience through expressive, colorful orchestration and warm melodies. He adds new perspectives to stories, environments, and everything in between through massive orchestral productions, as well as intimate atmospheres.

With performances and readings from chamber ensembles and orchestras, such as Apollo Chamber Players and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Tony's music has been played across the nation and has recently become published with MusicSpoke. Most recently, the Straits Area Band commissioned him to compose a work for the Mackinac Arts Council, celebrating Henry David Thoreau's bicentennial. Additionally, growing up alongside video games, he lives the life of a video game composer, creating sonic spaces and emotionally-driven tracks to enliven each game's world.

Born and raised near Philadelphia, PA, Tony graduated from Temple University with a degree in Music Composition. During his time in college, he had the blessing of meeting Maria - a young equestrian from Northern Michigan - via his blog dedicated to mental health awareness. Ever since mental health awareness was the spark for their marriage, he continually advocates those who suffer from mental illness. Through music, he expresses the inexpressible for those who don’t have a voice.

Notable works currently in progress are a new opera for OperaRox Productions, as well as the soundtrack to The Wayward Isles.

More Works from Tony Manfredonia »


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