Thrill Ride

LISTEN: Thrill Ride by Brendan McBrien

Format: Conductor Score & Parts
Instrumentation: Concert Band
Publisher: Alfred Music
Level: 2 (Easy)
The opening measures of Thrill Ride depict our first glimpse of the giant structure. This is followed by the slow ride up the lift-hill and the blood-chilling first drop that begins our journey on this musical roller coaster. To ride a roller coaster is to experience a collection of emotions: confidence, regret, fear, and euphoria to name a few. In short, we are confronted with our own mortality. (3:30)
Thrill Ride is as much a piece about watching roller coasters as it is about riding them. My son Kevin has been captivated his whole life with roller coasters. My wife and I watched with amazement as our then two-year-old son would stand in a trance watching them at our local amusement parks. He could do this for hours, but would never want to ride even the kiddy coaster, for it was in beholding them—in hearing the sounds they and their riders made—that fascinated him. To ride one may have created a system overload, and the reality, it seemed, would be too powerful for his young mind to contemplate. So there he stood, hands in the air, transported to who knows where. Now at the age of fourteen, knowledge has outweighed fear and, though still a careful customer, he is gradually making his way onto all of the coasters he would only watch a few years ago. But the enthusiasm toward roller coasters has grown along with him, and this passion is still a wonder to his mother and me. To watch him now is to have confirmation in the idea that to love something with your whole being (something you were born to love), and to experience that thing is one of the keys to true happiness. One of our family’s greatest joys is sharing that with him.  –Brendan McBrien
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