The Project

Jeri-Mae G. Astolfi

About the Works





Ravello Records





Root River, WI

"I often reflect back on the time
I spent with my daughter"

I. Good Times At River Bend

River Bend Nature Center is located on 80 acres of natural area along the banks of the Root River in Racine, Wisconsin. I often reflect back on the time I spent with my daughter and her kindergarten class exploring the River Bend Nature Center in Racine. Finding life under the leaves, tapping sap from a maple tree, and enjoying the scenery made for very pleasant memories.


II. Cloudy Day, River Rising

Imagine yourself walking along the river path in Washington Park (Racine, WI) on a cloudy day. The water level is slowly rising as rains from the north increase the depth of the Root River. This slow movement attempts to foreshadow the coming storm and subsequent flood of 2008.


III. Pounding Rain, Raging River

The storm hits. The river rises rapidly to flood stage. High rhythmic activity and dissonant chords depict the downpour as it did in Racine during the June storm of 2008. As the river rages on, a strong theme begins in octaves to portray the heroic efforts of public workers and volunteers as they try to mitigate damages and save what they could. The triumphant ending is a tribute to their efforts and an indication of man’s ability to overcome the tragedies we often face. -DY

Donald J. Young received his B.M. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and his M.M. from Arizona State University at Tempe. He has studied composition with Donald Andrus, Mike Leckrone, Lawrence Hartzell, Ronald LoPresti, and August Wegner. Mr. Young’s composition PATMOS for concert band won the 1975 CBDNA (College Band Directors National Association) Southwest Division composition contest. The performance was recorded and marketed by Crest Records. Many consider his composition KROYER VARIATIONS a part of the basic repertoire for clarinet choirs (see The Instrumentalist magazine article by Norman Heim, November, 1979). A short biography and list of his band compositions are published in Wolfgang Suppan’s Das neue Lexikon des Blasmusikwesens Freiburg, Germany, 1988. He has also received numerous commissions, most notably from the Minneapolis Civic Orchestra. His band composition CROWN OF LAUREL, published by Daehn Music Publishers, was peformed at the 1990 Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago. A recording is available on compact disc from Mark Records. In 2002, Mr. Young was announced the winner of the Wisconsin Music Teaches Association commissioning contest. The resulting work, Four Faces of Valor for two violins, viola, and piano, was premiered October 18, 2003 at the WMTA state convention on the UWM campus. He is recently retired Director of Bands and Chairman of the music department at William Horlick High School in Racine, and is active as a guest composer and conductor throughout Wisconsin.

For a full list of his published compositions and recordings. visit his website at

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Three Root River Scenes  Donald J. Young



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