You're here
Alex Shapiro, composer email


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.



This piece is ADAPTABLE, and will work for
ensembles of any size and personnel!





Click the arrow below
to enjoy the recording of
the live performance by the
University of Memphis Symphonic Band
conducted by Armand Hall,
along with musicians from
Central Washington University,
directed by Paul Bain.



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.

Full set: $80.
Score only: $15.





Click here to order from Activist Music:



Click the icon to order the
print set from Hal Leonard:

Hal Leonard







LIGHTS OUT instrumentation



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."




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.





A recording of the live performance by the University of Memphis Symphonic Band, conducted by Armand Hall, along with musicians from Central Washington University, directed by Paul Bain.







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!




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):





Here's a virtual video of the York University Wind Symphony playing LIGHTS OUT, conducted by Pratik Gandhi, Summer 2021:






How about light-up beach balls tossed into and around the audience???!!! Watch a fun opening, and see excerpts of what delighted the February 2024 Essex High School concertgoers in a performance conducted by Heather Trutor:

Beach balls!




Watch conductor Fred McInnis with the BYU University Band performing LIGHTS OUT, April 6, 2021:






Wanna see it on the marching field? Enjoy a 2023 perfofrmance by the Champlin Park Marching Rebels, with Drum Majors Mikey Beasley and Amara Kolles, playing an arrangement of Alex Shapiro's LIGHTS OUT made by Ward Miller.





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!








Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc. are wonderful tools for affordably bringing Alex into your rehearsal, without having to book a plane flight! She has a great time coaching students, and the difference between their musicianship at the beginning of the session and by the time it ends, is remarkable.

Alex can tell the ensemble about how the piece was created and engage them in conversation, and even show them how her digital project studio works! It's also easy to arrange to have her say hello to the audience during a concert, via a custom video. Webhearsals connect musicians to the real person-- and the stories-- behind the notes on the music stands. Get in touch with Alex-- her contact info is at the bottom of this page.

To see some examples of webhearsals, and the view Alex loves to share from her desk, click here.



Alex was an early adopter of online "webhearsals"! Here's one from December 2012 with Alex in her studio on Washington's San Juan Island, and band director Mary Bauer and the Mt. Mansfield Union High School Band far across the continent in Vermont.








Alex has written an extensive two-part article about electroacoustic band music and the uses of multimedia in the concert world. The essay, titled The e-Frontier: Music, Multimedia, Education, and Audiences in the Digital World echoes multimedia presentations she has given at The 2013 Midwest Clinic, the 2014 TMEA convention, and countless other seminars. It appears in the June and September 2014 issues of the magazine of the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles, WASBE World, and the .pdf is offered here with the very kind permission of the organization.


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




Teaching Music Through Performance


Alex's unique electroacoustic wind band pieces for high school musicians, TIGHT SQUEEZE, and PAPER CUT, are featured in the field's best known book/CD series, Teaching Music Through Performance in Band, Volume 10, edited by Eugene Migliaro Corporon and released by GIA Publications December 2014.







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).



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 VERY best way to reach Alex is through email, by clicking here Email Alex!


Email Alex!

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, IA;
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.


You're here


©2000-2024 by Alex Shapiro. All rights reserved to design and content.