Composer Cues – Dragon Run by Chris M. Bernotas

Dragon Run by Chris M. Bernotas

Hear composers describe their creative process, offer teaching suggestions, and provide messages to performers in our Composer Cues series. Use these videos as repertoire inspiration for future programs or assign them to students for listening and preparation.

Dragon Run

By Chris M. Bernotas

Chris Bernotas introduces his concert band work, Dragon Run–named for the 40-mile winding stream that flows throughout Virginia and empties into the Piankatank River. This immense ecosystem is known for its rich wildlife and preserved beauty. Dragon Run by Chris M. Bernotas features strong rhythms, intentional dissonance, contrasting dynamics, and wonderful musical opportunities for all. It echoes the excitement of exploring the views and experiencing the sometimes intense wildlife visitors encountered when journeying along the river and surrounding swamps. Dragon Run is correlated to Sound Innovations, Book 1, Level 6.


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Composer, conductor, clinician, and educator Chris M. Bernotas (b.1969) earned a Bachelor of Music degree from William Paterson University and a Masters in the Art of Teaching from Marygrove College. As Director of Instrumental School Methods and Repertoire for Alfred Music, he draws upon his 28-year experience as an instrumental music teacher in New Jersey, and brings an energetic and enthusiastic approach to the world of music education. As a widely published composer and author, he is co-author, along with Dr. Peter Boonshaft, of Sound Innovations: Ensemble Development for Young, Intermediate, and Advanced Concert Band. He is also co-author, along with Dave Black, of Alfred’s ground-breaking percussion method, Sound Percussion.

As an active composer and arranger of concert band, string orchestra, and marching band music, Mr. Bernotas is highly sought after nationwide as a composer of commissioned new works, as a guest conductor, as an adjudicator, and as a clinician on a variety of music education topics.

He resides in New Jersey with his wife Cristina and three kids.

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