To Reach Through The Sky

To Reach Through the Sky has been commissioned to serve as a memory of Edd Powell who lived a life as a dedicated husband, father, teacher, mentor, and friend.  Mr. Powell committed a career to education teaching middle and high school bands in the Carolinas, experiencing many successes over the years.  This composition has been based on the inspiration that Mr. Powell shared with anyone who met him and utilizes the hymn “Abide With Me” which Mr. Powell was most fond of. 


A truly remarkable teacher does more than just teach, they invest into their students.  The beginning of the work represents the beginnings experienced prior to teaching.  In order to teach, one must learn and be prepared to always learn throughout life.  The next section of the composition creates an environment of the students learning from their teacher.  A dialogue was developed using the “Abide With Me” hymn theme between the teacher and students.  A defining moment takes place as the students have taken what they have learned to become part of them.  A shift occurs in which the students mourn the loss of their former teacher.  Mourning is somewhat brief as the students remember what they have learned to share with others as their former teacher’s lessons will forever be part of who they have become.  More than just music, band directors teach life lessons, passion, emotion, and so much more.

Premiered Thursday, March 16th, 2019 by the Hickory Ridge Wind Ensemble and 8th Grade Band

Harrisburg, North Carolina

Commissioned in memory of Edd Powell (Cabarrus County, North Carolina)