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Roman Holiday

For the solo Flute player, I invite you to take your audience on a seven movement whistle-stop tour of Rome. We begin in the landscaped gardens of Villa Borghese; and after a number of stops, we conclude inside the majestic arena of the Colosseum. The intrepid Flute player can also incorporate optional audio recordings for three of the movements, which were recorded on location the same day that particular movement was composed. Grazie e buon divertimento!

Roman Holiday

    • Contents: Score (PDF)
    • Pages: 8
    • Duration: 8'00"
    • Grade: 5 / Advanced / Grade 8 (AMEB)
    • Optional location audio recordings available for performance upon request


  • Rome - the Eternal City. The birthplace of opera and pasta left an indelible impression on me when I travelled there in 2009. Similar to my work for Wind Band, “Seventy Letters,” this work for solo Flute was written on location and “in the moment.” Therefore, the music is in itself a direct response to the sights and sounds of this incredible city.


Movements II, IV and VI can be performed alongside an audio recording which was recorded in that specific location on the same day the movement was composed. The tracks have been edited to naturally fade in; however, I’ve found that it works best to have a colleague fade out the recording once the movement has been completed. Please contact me directly if you would like to perform “Roman Holiday” with the audio accompaniment and I will be glad to assist.


1: Villa Borghese. The third largest public park in Rome is adorned with landscape gardens, buildings, museums and attractions. This should feel bright, breezy and playful.


II: The Trevi Fountain. Arguably one of the most famous fountain in the world, the Trevi Fountain was completed in 1762 and is the largest Baroque fountain in the city. Relaxed and languid, the flutter tonguing from  b. 46 should invoke the flowing water from the fountain.


III: The Spanish Steps. The Spanish Steps is a monumental stairway of 135 steps which link the Trinità dei Monti church at the top, to the Piazza di Spagna at the bottom. Rhythmic pulse and technical accuracy should underpin a feeling of spirit within this movement.


IV: The Pantheon. Now a Catholic church, the Pantheon is a former Roman temple which was completed by the emperor Hadrian around 126 AD. This movement requires a sense of stillness whilst controlling all harmonics.


V: The Roman Forum. Mostly in ruins, the Roman Forum was the site of speeches, elections, processions, criminal trials and gladiatorial matches. Use the richness of Db Major to bring this stately plaza to life.


VI: St. Peter’s Basilica. Completed in 1626, St. Peter’s Basilica is the largest church in the world. Effective use of tone colours and subtle changes in tempo from b. 175 will enhance the structure of the movement.


VII: The Colosseum. Our tour concludes at the Colosseum, or the Flavian Amphitheatre as it was known. It is one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions, and has hosted many uses, from gladiatorial contents to drams based on Classical mythology. This movement requires a forceful (but not harsh) use of accents and flutter tonguing to bring the work to a dramatic conclusion.

“Roman Holiday” was first performed by the composer in 2011 at the Defence Force School of Music. This work recently enjoyed a performance in Finland by the Finnish flute player, Heline Fay.

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