Alligator Alley is the nickname for the east-west stretch of Interstate 75 between Naples and Fort Lauderdale that crosses through the Florida Everglades National Park. This park is home to many endangered species, one of them being the American alligator. One might see an alligator along the roadside when driving along this stretch of road. Michael Daugherty invokes two themes in this piece: the first called the “alligator’s theme” is played at the beginning with bassoons and evokes the slithering nature of the alligator; the second is called the “hunter’s theme” which is performed by the brass and includes sounds of an alligator snapping its jaws with the two pieces of wood struck together.


3-Flute 1
3-Flute 2
2-Oboe 1
2-Oboe 2
2-Bassoon 1
2-Bassoon 2
4-Bb Clarinet 1
4-Bb Clarinet 2
4-Bb Clarinet 3
2-Bb Bass Clarinet
2-Eb Alto Saxophone 1
2-Eb Alto Saxophone 2
2-Bb Tenor Saxophone
1-Eb Baritone Saxophone
4-Bb Trumpet 1
4-Bb Trumpet 2
2-F Horn 1
2-F Horn 2
3-Trombone 1
3-Trombone 2
2-Baritone B.C.
2-Baritone T.C.
2-String Bass (optional)
2-Percussion 1: Whip, triangle, crash cymbals, tambourine, shake
2-Percussion 2: Crash cymbals, triangle, tambourine, shake
2-Percussion 3: wood block, bongo or conga, maracas
1-Percussion 4: bass drum,
Vibraphone (optional)
Marimba (optional)

Meet The Composer

Michael Daugherty is one of the most performed and commissioned American composers of his generation. He has created a niche in the music world that is uniquely his own, composing concert music inspired by contemporary American popular culture. Daugherty came to international attention when his Metropolis Symphony (1988-93), a tribute to the Superman comics, was performed in 1995 at Carnegie Hall by conductor David Zinman and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and subsequently recorded for Argo/Decca. Other large orchestral works include UFO (1999), a percussion concerto commissioned and premiered by Evelyn Glennie and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin. Daugherty’s second symphony, MotorCity Triptych (2000), was commissioned and premiered by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra with conductor Neeme Jarvi.

Daugherty’s chamber music is widely performed as well, and has been recorded for Argo/Decca on the CD American Icons. His string quartets include Sing Sing: J.Edgar Hoover (1992) and Elvis Everywhere (1993), both performed on world tours and recorded on Nonesuch by the Kronos Quartet. His opera Jackie O (1997) has been produced in America, Canada, France, and Sweden and recorded by Argo/Decca. Daugherty has also composed numerous works for wind ensemble, recently recorded by Klavier on a disk titled UFO: The Music of Michael Daugherty.

Born in 1954 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Daugherty is the son of a dance-band drummer and the oldest of five brothers, all professional musicians. He studied music composition at North Texas State University (1972-76) and Manhattan School of Music (1976-78), and computer music at Pierre Boulez’s IRCAM in Paris (1979-80). Daugherty received his doctorate from Yale University in 1986. During this time he also collaborated with jazz arranger Gil Evans in New York, and pursued further studies with composer Gyorgy Ligeti in Hamburg, Germany (1982-84). After teaching music composition for several years at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Daugherty joined the School of Music at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) in 1991, where he is currently Professor of Composition. In 1999 he began a four-year tenure as composer-in-residence with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Future commissions include a violin concerto for Pamela Frank and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a new work for three conductors and orchestra for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and an octet for the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society.

Daugherty has received numerous awards for his music, including the Stoeger Prize from Lincoln Center, recognition from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts. His music is published exclusively by Peermusic Classical, New York, and represented in Europe by Faber Music, London.

About The Premiere

This piece was premiered May 14, 2003 at Slausen Middle School in Ann Arbor, MI under the direction of Gene Bartley.