The Sky Between Us for Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, and Piano


The Sky Between Us for Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, and Piano by Jenni Brandon explores what it means to be under the same sky and connect in new ways.




The Sky Between Us is a Semi-finalist in The American Prize 2024 Chamber Music Category!

The Covert Ensemble is a NATIONAL FINALISTS for The American Prize 2024 ERNST BACON MEMORIAL AWARD for the PERFORMANCE of AMERICAN MUSIC, chamber ensemble division, 2024 for their recording of The Sky Between Us

Program Note

The inspiration for The Sky Between Us for Soprano Saxophone, Alto Saxophone, and Piano by comes from a poem titled “Under This Sky” by Zia Hyder, translated by Bhabani Sengupta with Naomi Shihab Nye. The poem begins with the line:

There’s an enormous comfort knowing
we all live under this same sky.

The spirit of this poem speaks to the connections that link us together, from sharing the same sun and moon to embracing the idea of collaboration and togetherness, no matter where we live in the world or what we do.

This work explores what it means to be under the same sky and connect in new ways.  Using the colors of the saxophones and the piano, I wanted to create a soundscape that interweaves the ideas of togetherness through beautiful melodic lines, rhythmic gestures, and fluid motion.  A journey of movement and hope, this work celebrates the collaboration between the three voices as equal partners in creating a wide-open space of possibility.

The work is in one movement with three distinct sections inspired by the story in the poem:

Sun and Moon
Sweets and Snow
Life and Love

The piece begins and ends with the Saxophones echoing back and forth to each other, using the technique of playing into the open strings of the piano. I wanted to create this sense of openness, of vastness and distance that eventually grows closer together, symbolizing that although there is sky between us, we are still connected.

This work was commissioned by the Covert Ensemble (Dave Camwell and Kateřina Pavlíková – and it was their vision and enthusiasm that brought us all together under the same sky to collaborate on this work. I want to thank them as well as the additional Consortium Members from around the world who are a part of the creation of this work.

We truly are living under the same sky, and there’s a joy in knowing we can come together through music.

From the Lead Commissioners Covert Ensemble

In the summer of 2022, Dave Camwell and Kateřina Pavlíková (Covert Ensemble) approached composer Jenni Brandon for a piece that would represent the idea that no matter where we are or what we do in the world, we are all under the same sky. We celebrate diversity through being connected to one another through music, and this work was composed to explore the joys of the collaborative experience through music.

In July 2022, the consortium was opened to all interested saxophonists, this piece was supported by over 30 saxophonists from the United States, Canada, and South Korea. We are proud to help bring this wonderful music further into the saxophone community and express our deep gratitude to Jenni, pianist Tingting Yao, and everyone that supported and engaged with this project.

Dr. Dave Camwell & Kateřina Pavlíková – Lead Commissioners
November 2022

Consortium Members

Wyatt Anderson

Andy Austin – Doctoral Assistant, Saxophone, The University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Steve Carmichael – Colshire Winds

Dr. Sarah Dunbar – Assistant Professor of Music, Midwestern State University

Catherine Joan Dyer

Don Fabian

Dr. Susan Fancher

Xin Gao

Mr. Sean Garde – Freelance saxophonist

Dr. Joe Girard – Assistant Professor of Music, Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University &
Sinta Quartet

Derek Granger – The Hartt School

Dr. Lincoln Havranek

Nichole Heglund – Saxophonist/Educator, Reno, Nevada

Matthew Hess – Owner, Saxocentric Repair LLC

Barbara Hubers-Drake – Founder, Bamboo and Brass Ltd. (saxophone quartet)

Dr. Aaron J. Lington – Professor of Music and Coordinator of Jazz Studies, San Jose State University

Kyle Mechmet – Florida Atlantic University

Jason Oates – DMA candidate, University of Memphis

Douglas Owens – Professor of Music, The University of Tennessee at Martin

Stephen Page

Allen Keith Rippe

Sarah Roberts

Nicki Roman – Assistant Professor of Saxophone, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee & Saxophonist, Splinter Reeds

Dr. Christopher R. Sacco – Professor of Saxophone, University of West Florida

Patrick Schlesinger

Raymond H Smith – Professor Emeritus, Troy University

Dr. Bobbi Thompson – Assistant Professor of Saxophone, University of Western Ontario

Dr. Paul Zaborac

Dr. Jichen Zhang

Mr. Pu Zhi – Chinese-American International saxophone artist, University of North Carolina at Greensboro


Additional information

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