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The Sands of Time

Clarinet Choir




Total Duration


A challenging three-movement work: Shifting Sands, Serenade and The Dancing Lady.

The Sands of Time was commissioned by High Wycombe Music Centre for their Clarinet Choir.

(I) Shifting Sands



I have never had a close association with bagpipes – I prefer them to be a long way away! However, during my RAF career I was once asked to write a march for the RAF Voluntary Pipe Band. I gave the resulting piece the excruciating title of ‘Aerodrone’ and it forms the basis of Piping Hot. It depicts a band marching through the streets with the pipers taking the lead. Once having played through their tune the music gets passed to the woodwind and, for a while, all is sweetness and light. Shortly other parts of the band get restless and try to impose their own tune on the rest - I am not sure whether drink is involved! Mayhem threatens to break out so the Drum Major sharply calls the band to order and, with the exception of a few outbreaks of exuberance, they successfully complete their march.

(II) Serenade

Serenade was written for the High Wycombe Music Centre. The town's symbol is the swan, and this lyrical piece captures the elegance of a swan gliding on water.

(III) The Dancing Lady



The Dancing Lady gave me a chance to indulge my fondness for Latin rhythms.

Published by Studio Music Company

Recorded by the British Clarinet Ensemble on Calle de las Flores, BCE 103