Length: 4 minutes
Orchestration: 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, baritone saxophone, 4 horns, 4 trumpets, 4 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion (chimes, cymbals, glockenspiel, tambourine, xylophone), piano, drum set, harp, and strings
I composed A Bird From Missouri during my first year as Artistic Director of the Henry Mancini Institute. It was designed as an overture to feature "hoe-down type" strings and "be-bop" saxophones. It certainly wasn't meant to be a deep musical experience, but I thought the interaction of jazz and country fiddling would be very entertaining and a lot of fun.
I also wanted to point out the stylistic freedom that we can pursue at the Mancini Institute, where boundaries are not important to us, creativity is. I think Henry Mancini would have enjoyed this piece. He enjoyed life and all of its incongruities, and was a man of great wit and grace.
- Patrick Williams