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for concert wind band and prerecorded track. Plus, lighting and physical effects, for bands seeking adventure!

Composed by Alex Shapiro.
2015; Duration 4:30.
One movement work.
44 pages, 9" x 12".
Published by Activist Music (ASCAP).

Grade 4 and beyond.


Click here to listen! listen to LIGHTS OUT

The full, downloadable April 2015 live premiere by the University of Memphis Symphonic Band, conducted by Armand Hall.

SUWO LIGHTS OUT performance, June 2017

From the Sydney University Wind Orchestra's
June 2017 concert review, in PULP:

"The most incredible sensory experience occurred before intermission with Alex Shapiro's Lights Out. As the lights dimmed, the musicians lit up with an array of lights covering everything from fingers, to mallets, to the conductor's baton. The crowd gasped, experiencing a collective sense of wonderment at the spectacle ignited by the fusion of light and sound."

LIGHTS OUT is available as a physical, bound set of score and parts plus audio download, or as a digital set of .pdf score and parts, plus audio download.

Click here to order the PDF set from Activist Music ORDER LIGHTS OUT

Click the happy green icon to order the print set from Hal Leonard ORDER LIGHTS OUT

Hal Leonard


LIGHTS OUT instrumentation


Enjoy this video of the University of Memphis Symphonic Band conducted by Armand Hall, performing the April 29, 2015 premiere of LIGHTS OUT:




Alex Shapiro

I suppose you could call LIGHTS OUT an "opto-physico-electro-acoustic" work for wind band, because it was conceived from the onset as a visual media piece. While it can be performed in any normal concert setting, it's most compelling when presented in the dark, slightly disorienting the audience and dazzling them with the beautiful colored aura from glowsticks, smart phones, and small LEDs placed inside the instruments and on the musicians' mallets and fingers. Mesmerizing!

Composing this piece, I treated the visuals and movement the same way I treat the audio track— as an equal and additional "section" in the band, organically incorporated into the piece just like the woodwinds, brass and percussion.

The physical and lighting aspects of the work were composed simultaneously with the music, and the score includes two additional staves devoted to movement and visual effects, leaving space on the score page for bands to add their own ideas as well.

Even before writing a single note of the score, I conducted Skype sessions with the majority of the 19 bands involved in the commissioning consortium, to elicit the musicians' creative ideas about what staging concepts might make a performance particularly unusual and engaging. Roughly 200 of these gems are published in the score, for bands around the world to use and be inspired by. A few screenshots from our sessions can be found on this page.

The indications for movement and lighting that found their way into the score due to this wonderful initial collaboration are a jumping off point for many other ideas, and I'm excited to discover what each ensemble is going to choose for their interpretation. I encourage every band to post their performance on YouTube, because each concert will be unique!

February 16, 2015

Skype session split screen
A Skype session with the students of Keystone School
in LaGrange, OH.


The full, downloadable April 2015 live premiere by the University of Memphis Symphonic Band, conducted by Armand Hall.





LIGHTS OUT is available directly from this website as well as from Hal Leonard Corp and other retailers.

If you would like to see a perusal score, please email Alex for code access.


9 x 12; 44 pages including cover and notes.

perusal score, 9 x 12


The glowing audience at Jim Horwich's band's performance in Falmouth, ME.
Jim Horwich's Falmouth, Maine audience got into the act, too!


The front matter of the score, with detailed notes about the performance possibilities for LIGHTS OUT.

notes about setup and performance

Peabody Conservatory's performance in Baltimore, MD.
Karen Seward's band at the Peabody Conservatory
in Baltimore, MD looked like fireflies!


Here's something VERY helpful: a complete guide to the software and hardware setup for your band room and performance venue.

pdf of tech guide

A list of resources for finding inexpensive lighting and props is included with every score purchase!

You're invited to email Alex to share your suggestions for visuals and resources as well, by clicking this arrow: Email Alex!

Email Alex!

Skype session split screen
A Skype session with Armand Hall's students at
University of Memphis in Memphis, TN.

Armand Hall and the University of Memphis Symphonic Band.
A view from the stage of Armand Hall's 4/29/15 premiere with the
University of Memphis Symphonic Band in Memphis, TN.



Watch Scott Hook conduct the Ankeny Centennial High School Wind Symphony
on February 26, 2018:

Here's the video of the North Polk High School Band conducted by Melanie Spohnheimer, at their band recruiting concert on March 6, 2017 (the crowd noise was encouraged, and we think they got some new band members):

Stephen Archinal is a film major at Ohio University, and is also a musician in the University Band. He's used his experience bringing LIGHTS OUT to life (and, light!) as the subject for a 15 minute documentary. Enjoy watching "how the sausage is made":

Here's a short video that includes excerpts from some of the Skype sessions Alex did with commissioning ensembles for LIGHTS OUT, from her San Juan Island studio.

CLICK to watch what it's like!

Watch a Skypehearsal!


CSIC interview Enjoy the Composers and Schools in Concert March 2013 interview Alex did with conductor Miller Asbill, in which they discuss the nitty gritty of scoring with electronics, rehearsing via Skype, and the true value of electricity.




Alex has written a two-part article about electroacoustic band music and the uses of multimedia in the concert world that you might find interesting. The essay, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World, appears in the June and September 2014 issues of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World, and is offered here with the very kind permission of the organization.

Click here for the full .pdf file readThe e-Frontier


Here's a three-minute video featuring three of CSIC's recent high school commissions, including Alex Shapiro's 2013 CSIC commission, TIGHT SQUEEZE:



Skype session split screen
A Skype session with band director Paul Kile
and the students of Edina High School in Edina, MN.

Skype session
How a Skype session appears from the band's perspective
(here, at Edina High in MN).


Teaching Music Through Performance

Two of Alex's electroacoustic wind band pieces, TIGHT SQUEEZE, and PAPER CUT, are featured in the book/CD series, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 10, edited by Eugene Migliaro Corporon and released by GIA Publications December 2014.


Skype session
A Skype session with Wade Presley's students
at Nevada High in Nevada, IA.

Wade Presley and the Nevada High School Band.
The view from the audience during
Nevada High's 5/1/15 premiere!


The best way to reach Alex is by clicking here Email Alex!

Email Alex!

You can also leave a voice message at:
(270) 916-0093, and she'll return your call.

Call Alex!

You can visit the Composers and Schools in Concert website by clicking here:

Visit CSIC!


Alex Shapiro at the Hal Leonard Booth at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, December 2014. There's a lot more Shapiro band music to hear!

Head on over to THIS PAGE for an overview of Alex's wind band pieces. You can listen to each one, read all about it via a link, and if desired, request a free pdf perusal score. Have fun!


This project was commissioned and overseen by Composers and Schools in Concert and its Executive Director Lisa Oman, who, along with Alex and her agent Mark Walker, formed this wonderful consortium of 19 commissioning schools participating from around the United States:

Arrowhead High School, Hartland, WI;
Stacey Zwirlein, Associate Director of Bands

Edina High School, Edina, MN;
Paul Kile, Band Director

Falmouth High School, Falmouth, ME;
Jim Horwich, Band Director

Kaufman High School, Kaufman, TX;
John Mize, Director of Bands

Keystone High School, LaGrange, OH;
Jackie Townsend, Director of Bands

Lafayette High School, Lafayette, LA;
Scotty Walker, Director of Bands

Monticello High School, Monticello, Iowa;
Jim Davis, Director of Bands

New London-Spicer High School, New London, MN;
Brian Pearson, Music Director

Nevada High School, Nevada, IA;
Wade Presley, Director of Bands

Olathe Northwest High School, Olathe, KS;
Robert Davis, Director of Bands

Owatonna High School, Owatonna MN;
Peter Guenther, Band Director

Peabody Preparatory, Baltimore, MD;
Karen Seward, Wind Band Conductor

Purdue University, Lafayette, IN;
Jay Gephart, Director of Bands

Rosemount High School, Rosemount, MN;
Ben Harloff, Steve Olsen, Leon Sieve, Band Directors

Rockwood Summit High School, Fenton, MO;
Rebekah Long, Assistant Band Director

Ruston High School, Ruston, LA;
Walter Moss, Director of Bands

Southeastern Louisiana University, Hammond, LA;
Glen Hemberger, Director of Bands

Twin Valley High School, Elverson, PA;
Daniel Long, Music Director

University of Memphis, Memphis, TN;
Armand Hall, Associate Director of Bands


Monticello High School Band in Iowa.
Jim Davis's band in Monticello, Iowa,
using flickering holiday lights along with LEDs.

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