Symphony No. 5: "Homage to Swing"

Symphony No. 5: "Homage to Swing"

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Scoring & Instrumentation
2(2+picc)222 - 43(3=flghn)21 - timp, 2 perc - strings
Alternate Title
Symphony  No. 5: Homage to Swing (Identity 158)
Year Authored (or revised)
Duration (min)
I. Classic Swing
II. Multi-Cultural Fugue
III. Allegro alla Swing
IV. Sonata Rondo alla Swing

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Composer's Note:

Symphony  No. 5: Homage to Swing (Identity 158) is an exercise in the marriage between contemporary contemplative jazz and traditional western classical forms

Movement I: Classic Swing features a traditional theme written in sonata allegro design. It is contrasted with a lively, rhythmic secondary theme.

Movement II: Multi-Cultural Fugue traverses many styles while maintaining the same beat.  It opens with a non-syncopated exposition, which progresses to a Bossa Nova, a ragtime, a swing, a salsa, back to a swing, to a lively African ngoma (an African dance in an East African Mbira style), and a final swing. The movement closes in a style reminiscent of the opening.

Third movements of traditional classical symphonies are usually some type of dance, e.g. minuet and trio, scherzo, or waltz. In keeping with this tradition, Movement III: Allegro alla Swing features a jazz waltz. However, instead of being written in song form structure, this movement is written in sonata allegro design. This secondary theme introduces the waltz, which is in sharp contrast to the opening quasi bebop theme. Both themes are featured more or less throughout the entire movement. The development introduces a brief moment of improvisation.

Movement IV: Sonata Rondo alla Swing demonstrates the marriage between jazz and traditional seven part rondo designs, i.e. the sonata rondo form. Section C constitutes a lengthy jazz fugue which functions as a development.

Symphonies, chamber works, and solo works all reflect, in a very real sense, the musical background of this composer, which is the sum of the Amerian urban folk tradition, i.e. spirituals, blues, soul music, gospel music, jazz, and folk-based African music retentions. It also reflects the classical influences of his mentors including Alvin Batiste, Gerard Behague, Kent Kennan, Karl Korte, and Joseph Schwantner. Global Music Awards, an international music competition celebrating independent musicions, awarded Symphony #5: Homage to Swing (Identity 158) the Gold Medal in Counterpoint Classical/Jazz in May 2018.

Of Note: Dr. Stewart considers the art of composition to be more than a profession, but also a spiritual exercise. Thus, he uses the word 'Identity' as a part of the title of all of his works. To him, composing affords him the opportunity to engage in his spiritual search for God.


Winner of the Gold Medal in Counterpoint Classical/Jazz in May 2018 and recipient of an honorable mention in orchestral composition (jazz) in the 2023 American Prize.

First Perfomance




Text Language - Non English


Text Source/Author


Title Number
Ensemble Type
Music by BIPOC - AALANA composers
jazz influence


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$120.00 full score
Parts available in 2024.