Boon Bestowed

Cecily Terhune saxophone
Carly Hood saxophone

Release Date: February 9, 2024
Catalog #: RR8100
Format: Digital
21st Century
Solo Instrumental

Indianapolis saxophonist Cecily Terhune dives headfirst into an exploration of heroism on her genre-defying debut album BOON BESTOWED. Harnessing the principles laid out in Joseph Campbell’s seminal theory of mythology, Terhune creates a captivating, musical microcosm in which the listener is invited to take center stage as the audacious protagonist.

The theory goes as follows: Most myths in human history have an archetypal heroine/hero who answers a call to journey through a supernatural world. After undergoing a transformation of strength and character, the heroine returns equipped with material and/or incorporeal boons to bestow upon her community. Marveling at the highly diverse and exquisite mastery of the saxophone on BOON BESTOWED, one is apt to wonder what supernatural landscapes Terhune might have traversed herself.


Hear the full album on YouTube

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 La Dernière Nuit David Salleras Cecily Terhune, alto saxophone; Carly Hood, baritone saxophone 8:09
02 Zippy! Gregory Wanamaker Carly Hood, soprano saxophone; Cecily Terhune, alto saxophone 4:03
03 Six Riffs After Ovid: Maceo Parker (Pan) Michael Daugherty Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 1:42
04 Six Riffs After Ovid: Buddy Holly (Phaeton) Michael Daugherty Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 2:03
05 Six Riffs After Ovid: Joni Mitchell (Niobe) Michael Daugherty Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 2:47
06 Six Riffs After Ovid: Jim Morrison (Bacchus) Michael Daugherty Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 1:33
07 Six Riffs After Ovid: Prince (Narcissus) Michael Daugherty Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 1:51
08 Six Riffs After Ovid: Aretha Franklin (Arethusa) Michael Daugherty Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 2:43
09 Peppercorn Suite: Black Jim Rhinehart Cecily Terhune, soprano & tenor saxophones; Carly Hood, alto, soprano & baritone saxophones 1:38
10 Peppercorn Suite: Pink Jim Rhinehart Cecily Terhune, soprano & tenor saxophones; Carly Hood, alto, soprano & baritone saxophones 2:31
11 Peppercorn Suite: Green Jim Rhinehart Cecily Terhune, soprano & tenor saxophones; Carly Hood, alto, soprano & baritone saxophones 1:58
12 Peppercorn Suite: White Jim Rhinehart Cecily Terhune, soprano & tenor saxophones; Carly Hood, alto, soprano & baritone saxophones 2:05
13 Frost: Erik Prelude Marc Mellits Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 2:41
14 Frost: Annika Marc Mellits Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 3:39
15 Frost: Karl Marc Mellits Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 1:49
16 Frost: Adrienne Marc Mellits Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 2:46
17 Frost: Erik Postlude Marc Mellits Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 1:51
18 Flight Mode Rachel Stott Cecily Terhune, soprano saxophone 4:16
19 Boon Bestowed: Sir Joan - Possibility Katie Madonna Lee, Cecily Terhune Cecily Terhune, soprano, baritone, alto & tenor saxophones 3:39
20 Boon Bestowed: Malala - Knowledge Katie Madonna Lee, Cecily Terhune Cecily Terhune, soprano, baritone, alto & tenor saxophones 1:58
21 Boon Bestowed: The Madonna - Life Katie Madonna Lee, Cecily Terhune Cecily Terhune, soprano, baritone, alto & tenor saxophones 2:46
22 Boon Bestowed: Queen M.P. Johnson - Justice Katie Madonna Lee, Cecily Terhune Cecily Terhune, soprano, baritone, alto & tenor saxophones 2:34

Recorded July 6, 7, 22, 23, 2023
Session Producer Evan Gidley (tracks 1-2, 9-12)
Session Producer Carly Hood (tracks 3-8, 13-22)
Recording Session Engineer, Mixing Christoph Thompson
Mastering Melanie Montgomery

Executive Producer Bob Lord

VP of A&R Brandon MacNeil
A&R Chris Robinson

VP of ProductionJan Košulič
Audio Director Lucas Paquette

VP, Design & Marketing Brett Picknell
Art Director Ryan Harrison
Design Edward A. Fleming
Publicity Kacie Brown

Artist Information

Cecily Terhune


Described as “spirited and intellectual,” Indianapolis-based musician Cecily Terhune enjoys a rewarding career as a performer, recording artist, and educator. She concertizes regularly as a soloist and proud member of funk-fusion septet Audiodacity and the Hood/Terhune Duo, among other groups. When not on stage, Terhune shares her passion for music by teaching private students and sectionals at Carmel and Noblesville High Schools, serving as a member of the Committee for Gender Equity in the North American Saxophone Alliance, and maintaining her educational YouTube channel.

Carly Hood


Carly Hood is a saxophonist and music educator based in the Cincinnati metropolitan area. She is an active performer in both solo and chamber capacities. Carly has been a featured concerto soloist with the CCM Concert Orchestra, Stephen F. Austin Orchestra of the Pines, and Cincinnati Youth Wind Ensemble, most recently performing Roshanne Etezady’s new saxophone concerto Negative Split. As an orchestral saxophonist, Carly has performed with several orchestras across the region, including the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Louisville Orchestra, Lexington Philharmonic, Springfield Symphony Orchestra, and Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her work as a classical saxophonist, Hood plays saxophone with the German group The Überland Band, which performs across the eastern United States.

Hood serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), Cincinnati State, and Thomas More University and is the saxophone instructor for Walnut Hills, Beechwood, and Oak Hills High Schools. She enjoys the opportunity to work with students of varying musical backgrounds and experiences, and in addition to her saxophone studio teaching has taught collegiately in the areas of Music History, Music Education, Jazz, and Chamber Music.

Hood received her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) with a cognate in Music History. She holds a Master of Music from Stephen F. Austin State University and Bachelors of Music and Music Education from CCM.


To celebrate and expand the repertoire for solo and duo contemporary classical saxophone, I humbly offer my debut album BOON BESTOWED. This project contains a collection of simultaneously challenging and approachable works selected to compel diverse audiences.

BOON BESTOWED is designed to take the listener on a journey that loosely outlines the arc of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth. Campbell (1904-1987) was an American writer, professor, and mythologist whose book, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, has furthered our collective understanding of the structure of stories throughout human existence. Upon comparing copious historical epics, Campbell distilled a standard plot into three main parts with various subcategories: the departure, initiation, and return. He dubbed this structure, “the hero’s journey.”

The BOON BESTOWED listener is encouraged to create their own narrative while experiencing this work. In my mind, the programmatic music of this album paints a fantastical Odyssey-like epic. For my narrative, I envision a confident, driven heroine guided by other-worldly spirits embarking on an adventurous journey with her chipmunk companion, a string of peppercorns, and a winged beast.

For the music, I chose to feature solo and duo pieces in order to explore the saxophones’ natural color palettes. For most of this project’s solo works, I selected the beguiling soprano saxophone as my voice, though all four horns are included in the title track, Boon Bestowed. The duet pieces offer variety and the opportunity to experiment with some different saxophone combinations: alto/baritone, soprano/alto, soprano/soprano, alto/tenor, and tenor/baritone.

This project’s style embodies the oxymoron, “contemporary classical.” While the music is composed in the classical idiom, the project’s novelty defies the standard meaning of the word “classical.” The contemporary nature of the project is evident with the fact that the oldest pieces in the collection were written in 2011. While these compositions generally fit within the classical idiom, some of them also hint at minimalist, jazz, progressive rock, blues, and funk influences.

Thank you to my family and friends and colleagues for all their guidance and assistance! I would like to thank (in no particular order): Carly Hood, Christoph Thompson, Evan Gidley, Terri McConahay, John Terhune, Lucy Terhune, Annie Terhune, Rocky Rodriguez, Mark Buselli, Laura Haines, George Wolfe, James Bunte, Jay Young, Heidi Radtke, Nicki Roman, Eric Salazar, Jalissa Gascho, Brian Bosley, Kelsey Georgesen, my Audiodacity family, the attendants of my April 2022 recital, the Indiana Arts Commission, the Center for the Performing Arts, PARMA Recordings, and all others who have supported me in big and small ways. I feel much love from my community and I love you all in return.

— Cecily Terhune

“With this work I wanted to recreate a meeting between two dancers on a romantic night in the streets of Paris — an encounter full of life, love, heartbreak, passion, and melancholy. I have always been interested in creating music based on a story related to dance. I am passionate about the energy that is created between the dancers and with the audience; it has been a very positive source of inspiration for me.

La Dernière Nuit is a dance based on tango music and inspired by flamenco music. The dance elements are expressed by two melodies that simultaneously complement and contradict each other. The essence of this piece is a celebration of human expression, poetry, virtuosity, and balance between two voices — two dancers in parallel to two saxophonists who seek and find each other, and who seek and lose each other.”

— David Salleras

“During the summer of 2020, the beginning of the lengthy period of isolation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I spent a great deal of time on my back deck and in my backyard trying to perfect my grilling chops and feeding and watching birds. Naturally, the latter activity tends to attract wildlife of the rodent variety, especially the pesky and arrogant squirrels, who destroyed so many bird feeders that I had to take out a second mortgage to purchase another thousand.

And then there were the chipmunks, also pesky (like the squirrels) but more shy and humble than arrogant (unlike the squirrels), who were far too light and nimble to weigh down and destroy the birds’ feeders, but helped themselves to the birds’ food anyway. I could continue this description for hours, but the point is that there was this one chipmunk named Zippy who sorta rose to the top of her community and decided that I was a good pathway to the birds’ — and now chipmunks’ — feeders hanging from various poles attached to my deck, so she began to run up my legs and back and shoulders to jump on the railing to the feeders, collect her food, and run to my neighbor’s yard where she lived to store her food.

Eventually, I was able to give the birds a break by collecting food for Zippy so that she could eat from my hand. Some evenings she would perch on my neighbor’s fence and yell (as chipmunks do) until I came out to light the grill with a bunch of seed or corn or nuts in my hat (because I had to carry charcoal and utensils with my hands). She would come running over and sit in my hat (on my head) to collect her food or play the harmonica.

Things went on like that for weeks and Zippy became a bit of a social media star on my various social media pages, which are, for a large part, populated by musicians who have performed my music, and who have expressed “likes” and other such reactions to selfies and videos of Zippy on my head.

This piece Zippy! is for Zippy-lovin’ musicians everywhere who want to play a four-minute piece requiring the energy and heartbeat of a chipmunk. While the original version is for the all-too-common standard instrumentation of soprano saxophone and English horn, whose repertoire rivals the string quartet, other versions will be made for similar pairs of instruments.

I spent a lot of time during the COVID-19 pandemic writing melancholy and angry music in forced isolation, during the reign of an authoritarian racist urging violence against his own constituents. Zippy! is the opposite of that music as it is a recollection of the part of this troubling time when I made a friend who lifted my spirits and never once peed on my head while she ate from my hat.

And now she hibernates…”

— Gregory Wanamaker

Six Riffs after Ovid (2021) for solo oboe was commissioned by Bang on a Can, and premiered on a Bang on a Can Marathon on April 18, 2021 by oboist Titus Underwood.

My composition is inspired by The Metamorphoses, written by the Roman poet Ovid in 8 A.D. Like Six Metamorphoses after Ovid for solo oboe, composed in 1951 by the English composer Benjamin Britten, I have selected six characters from Ovid’s epic poem:

Pan, who played on a reed pipe; Phaeton, who rode the chariot of the sun and was struck down by a thunderbolt; Niobe, who lamented the death of her children and was turned into a mountain; Bacchus, who revelled at drunken feasts; Narcissus, who fell in love with his own image and turned into a flower; and Arethusa, who was turned into a fountain.

Transforming these characters from classical mythology into icons from American mythology, the six movements of my composition are musical metamorphoses with a modern twist.”

— Michael Daugherty

The colorful Peppercorn Suite was composed in 2018 for saxophonists Brian Bosley and Cecily Terhune. It premiered in Cincinnati OH at the North American Saxophone Alliance biennial conference. Jim Rhinehart conceptualizes the movements in the following way:

Movement 1: “Black” – for soprano and alto saxophones

The most common type of peppercorn, these are cooked green peppercorns that are then dried. They have the strongest flavor of the peppercorns.

Movement 2: “Pink” – for two soprano saxophones

Not actually peppercorns at all, but rather berries from a South American shrub. Most often used for garnishing, they have a delicate, floral taste.

Movement 3: “Green” – for alto and tenor saxophones

These are under-ripe black peppercorns that are often pickled. They have a fruity, slightly tart flavor.

Movement 4: “White” – for baritone and tenor saxophones

White peppercorns are simply black peppercorns that have been soaked and had the skins removed. The taste is less pungent, but more intense than black peppercorns.”

— Jim Rhinehart

“In the northeast of the United States, the winter of 2010-11 saw incredible record-breaking snowfall. However, early March provided a brief stay from the cold and the warm weather started to thaw the frozen landscape. As the ice and snow began to melt, audible cracks in the frozen blocks could be heard. Icicles and snow drifts would exclaim a snapping sound as they cracked and then hit the ground, echoing through the neighborhood. I imagined these echoes turning into groovy loops of sound, rebounding off the houses and trees. Slowly melting sheets of ice yielded more introverted lyrical lines of sound. From its initial frozen formation, each movement warmed and metamorphosized itself into a sound portrait of the Rönmark family.”

— Marc Mellits

Flight Mode was composed in the spring of 2012. The idea for the piece came from a chance remark made by a colleague during a recording session, with reference to a mobile phone; my addled brain interpreted the words in a musical sense, and thus a new mode, “flight mode,” was born. I imagined the flight taking off from somewhere in the eastern Mediterranean and landing perhaps in one of the Scandinavian countries; however this must be by some form of flight yet to be discovered since the piece lasts a mere 4 minutes. The mode includes certain quarter tone pitches, which recur throughout the piece and for which a fingering chart is supplied. Like Holiday Postcards, Flight Mode was written for the inspiring saxophonist Sarah Markham and has been performed in London, Huddersfield, and Aulnay-Sous-Bois.”

— Rachel Stott

Conceptualized at the beginning of 2023, the piece Boon Bestowed is the product of a collaboration between fellow Indiana On-Ramp grant recipients Katie Madonna Lee and Cecily Terhune. The title references one of the final parts of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth outline: the ultimate boon. The concept is that in a standard story, the hero wins or learns or achieves something as a culmination of the whole plot, which she brings back to better her community. Boon Bestowed applies the concept of the ultimate boon to modern feminism. Each movement pairs an exemplar of a strong feminine archetype with the boon she bestows. The warrior Joan of Arc is coupled with possibility, the educator Malala with knowledge, the nurturer Madonna with life, and the activist Marsha P. Johnson with justice.

This piece is unusual in the solo classical saxophone repertory for several reasons. It employs all four main saxophones and features an improvisation section. In this version, a dense sonic environment was created through the use of layers engineered in the studio, whereas the live version requires the use of a loop pedal. When performed live, each movement features an accompanying short film.

Boon Bestowed was premiered on June 10, 2023 by Cecily Terhune at the Palladium in Carmel IN. The performance was made possible by the Center for the Performing Arts and its New Works project.

— Cecily Terhune