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(2015, currently under revision)

for solo tenor saxophone and wind ensemble

10-12 minutes

About the Work


I completed “Steps” for tenor saxophone and wind ensemble a few years ago – At that point in time, it was the second movement of a two-movement work. Since then, I have decided to turn it into a stand-alone piece.  Below, you'll find the original score, a list of revisions in progress, and sample recordings. 

Program Note


Steps is an endless, wandering melody.  Its peaceful moments can be attributed to the countless hours I spent on the beaches of Montaña de Oro while writing it. Similar to another recent work, on the edge for alto saxophone and guitar, Steps depicts hiking solo in California.  Two landmarks influenced the shape of this movement.  The first is Tahquitz Peak in Idyllwild, a 360-degree viewpoint at 8,000 feet, where mountains, desert, distant lakes, alpine greenery, and rock formations can all be seen from one viewpoint.  Likewise, when hiking the coast in Montaña de Oro, something new comes into view with every turn, from sand dunes to beach coves, morros, and grassy fields.  Steps portrays the ability to see such a variety of ecosystems and terrain all at the same time, a California feature that I have become fascinated with.  Landscapes that come into view while climbing a hill are represented in the music by textures that emerge and fade.  A choir of clarinets creates murmuring effects, while swelling drones pass from one instrument to another, the brass grows into chorales, and the saxophone solo constantly meanders.  Every time a theme returns, its profile changes within its context, just as the view of a landscape may reveal different sights when it is looked at from a different viewpoint. 


Steps was written for and premiered by the California Polytechnic State University Wind Ensemble, conducted by Andrew McMahan in June 2015.  

Revisions in Progress:

  • The drum set is omitted and replaced with other instruments.

  • Measures 8 – 28: more doublings

  • Measures 67 – 74 are omitted.  They will be replaced with a new section between 1-2min. long.  The band will have a flashy groove, while the saxophone will hover with rapid, jazzy figures.

  • Measures 74 – 120.  The marimba and vibraphone parts are simplified and doubled in the woodwinds. 

  • Measures 171 – 182 will be lengthened and developed. 

Score Samples of the Drafts in Progress

Synthesized Versions of the Score Excerpts Above: 

Steps - Synthesized - Excerpt 1 - Laura M Kramer
00:00 / 00:00
Steps - Synthesized - Excerpt 2 - Laura M Kramer
00:00 / 00:00

Excerpts from a reading session with the USC Thornton Wind Ensemble




More details about dates and pricing coming soon!


PDF parts

Printed 11x17 Score

1 Virtual Rehearsal/Q&A Session​


I am available to perform the solo with your ensemble, and would also be happy to present in a seminar, give a master class, etc. if you would like!  Please contact me to discuss a rate that includes the parts, score, travel, and artist fee. 

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