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Program Notes

Wings Across America


Roger Cichy, composer

Wings Across America unfolds as a dramatic musical narrative of the WASPs and depicts various stages that these inspiring women went through to serve their country. Following an opening celebratory fanfare to the WASPs, the work dramatically turns to America at war and the need for all Americans to contribute to the war effort. The musical textures become very martial, reflecting the military training of women preparing to become WASPs. Cichy uses a variety of musical devices to portray this period: melodies made up of bugle calls, march-like textures, and an embedded Morse code repeating strand of WASP (dit-da-da, dit-da, dit-dit-dit, dit-da-da-dit). At various times during the piece, Cichy throws in short paraphrases of “The Air Force Song” (sometimes referred to as “Off We Go, Into the Wild Blue Yonder”). The passion for flying and a willingness to leave family and friends to serve a nation at war is reflected in the slower, more lyrical segment of the work. The women of the WASPs carried out their assigned duties with courage, guts, and skill. This spirit is characterized in the final section of the work.

—Roger Cichy


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