Color Wheel – Erik Wendelken


Color Wheel is a middle school concert band piece written in six short movements. Each movement represents one of the six colors in the color wheel. (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue and Violet)  The composition is intended to be performed with stage lights matching the color of each movement. Red: is associated with energy, passion, love, desire, strength, power, danger and war. Orange: is the combination of red and yellow and is associated with enthusiasm, joy, warmth and happiness. Yellow: signifies joy, happiness, optimism, idealism and imagination. Green: is the color of nature. It symbolizes renewal, harmony and stability. Blue: is the color of the ocean. It is associated with peace, tranquility, trust and faith. Violet: combines the qualities of blue and red and is associated with nobility, spirituality, magic, wisdom, and enlightenment.  Enjoy!

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Additional Score | Parts


Erik Wendelken’s “Color Wheel” is an exceptional composition tailored specifically for middle school concert bands. With its ingenious concept and delightful execution, this piece has undoubtedly proven to be a remarkable addition to the repertoire of easy-level concert band music.

The heart of “Color Wheel” lies in its six short movements, each intricately designed to represent one of the fundamental colors on the spectrum: Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Violet. Through the masterful use of musical motifs and evocative instrumentation, Wendelken skillfully brings to life the unique essence of each color, ensuring a captivating and immersive experience for both performers and listeners alike.

One of the most striking aspects of this composition is the ingenious idea of accompanying each movement with stage lights that mirror the color being portrayed. This clever integration of visual elements not only enhances the overall performance but also serves as a splendid educational tool, as it enables young musicians to grasp the profound connection between music and visual representation.

The Red movement bursts forth with energy and intensity, evoking emotions of passion, love, and strength. Wendelken’s adeptness in crafting musical dynamics allows the band to paint a vivid picture of danger and war, making it an exciting and engaging piece for young musicians to tackle.

In contrast, the Orange movement exudes sheer enthusiasm, joy, and warmth. By deftly blending the essence of red and yellow, the composer manages to encapsulate a sense of happiness and exuberance that envelops the audience in a delightful and uplifting atmosphere.

Yellow, the color of joy and optimism, comes alive in the third movement. Wendelken cleverly infuses the composition with optimism and imagination, and the piece resonates with a youthful vibrancy that seamlessly complements the theme of the color.

With Green, the listener is transported to the heart of nature itself. Wendelken’s use of musical motifs symbolizes renewal, harmony, and stability, akin to the feeling one experiences when surrounded by the serenity of nature’s embrace.

In the fifth movement, Blue, the music takes on a tranquil and serene quality, reminiscent of the calmness one finds in the vastness of the ocean. Here, the composition taps into emotions of peace, tranquility, trust, and faith, creating a beautiful and immersive soundscape that allows the audience to drift away on gentle waves of sound.

Finally, the Violet movement exudes a sense of nobility, spirituality, and wisdom. Wendelken seamlessly blends the qualities of blue and red, infusing the piece with a magical and enlightening aura that serves as a fitting finale to this extraordinary musical journey.

In conclusion, “Color Wheel” by Erik Wendelken is an absolute triumph in the realm of middle school concert band music. Through its six movements, the piece effortlessly captures the essence of the colors it represents, offering young musicians an invaluable opportunity to explore the emotional and creative facets of music. With its imaginative use of stage lights and captivating melodies, this composition has proven to be a resounding success in both performance and pedagogy. “Color Wheel” is a must-add to any middle school band’s repertoire, as it guarantees an enjoyable and enriching experience for all who have the privilege to perform or listen to this remarkable musical gem.


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