This piece was inspired by Dunscaith Castle, a ruined castle on the coast of the Isle of Skye in northwest Scotland. Also called “The Fortress of Shadows,” it is named after and was the home of the warrior maiden Scáthach the Shadow, a legendary Scottish warrior woman, and martial arts teacher who trained the hero Cú Chulainn in the arts of combat. The Irish name for the fort, Dun Scathiag, was named after her.
The Fortress of Shadows provides an opportunity for middle school or early high school ensembles to perform an epic-sounding work that is technically and musically accessible. With both lyrically majestic and driving musical sections, students encounter many opportunities to advance their technical, musical, and ensemble skills. The duration of this piece is approximately 4.5 minutes.
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