Wind Ensemble


Let Me Be
        Frank With You

Sheltering Sky

Strange Humors


Grade 2-2.5:



Grade 3:

This Cruel Moon

Lightning Field


Sheltering Sky


Grade 4 / 4+:

Until the Scars

The Rumor of
        a Secret King


Hymn to a Blue Hour

Night on Fire

Ringmaster's March

Strange Humors


Unquiet Spirits



Grade 5 / 5+:

Asphalt Cocktail

Aurora Awakes

The Frozen Cathedral

Fanfare for
       Full Fathom Five

High Wire

Kingfishers Catch Fire


The Night Garden

Places we can
       no longer go


Redline Tango


Sacred Spaces

Songs from the
       End of the World

The Soul Has
   Many Motions



Wine-Dark Sea:
     Symphony for Band



Antique Violences:
     Trumpet Concerto

Drum Music: Perc. Cto

Harvest: Tbn. Cto.

Sop. Sax Concerto


Chamber Music

Vocal Music


Music for Theater

Works in Progress


Undertow (2008)

Audio & Score

for concert band
duration: 5'

Grade 3+ / Texas PML Grade 4

Click to buy : Full set $145. Extra 9x12 score $25.

Commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band, Cheryl Floyd and Charles Fischer, conductors.
World premiere on May 13, 2008, Bates Recital Hall at the University of Texas at Austin, conducted by Cheryl Floyd.

Though many of his pieces are extremely virtuosic, Undertow is the first of Mackey's works written specifically for intermediate band. It was commissioned by the Hill Country Middle School Band and premiered by that ensemble with its conductor, Cheryl Floyd, in May 2008. The work is significantly different than much of Mackey's output in terms of technical difficulty, but many characteristic elements of his writing are nonetheless present, including biting semitone dissonance within a tonal context, frequent use of mixed meter, heavy percussion effects and, perhaps most importantly to this work, a pervasive ostinato. The metric pattern for the piece is an alternation of 7/8 and 4/4 time, which provides an agitated "out-of-step" pulsation throughout. The energetic opening melody cycles through several repetitions before washing away into a gentle stream of percussive eighth notes. From here, a countermelody emerges that slowly ratchets the energy back up to its original level, where the initial melody returns to round out the explosive conclusion.

Program note by Jake Wallace
Please credit Jake Wallace when reproducing or excerpting this program note