Gently Blows the Summer Wind was written for the 2007 Salem High School Band and their conductor, Mr. Michael Cole. It was commissioned in remembrance of one of his students, Dennis Smith, who passed away. In writing this piece, the memory of a student I had taught began to intrude. Her name was Jamie Peeler, who also passed away young. I thought of how fleeting life can be, gone quickly as a summer wind. This metaphor serves as the central image of this piece. This music is meant to evoke the way summer winds can come quickly, brightening our lives for a brief moment, before flying away to destinations unknown.   *J.W. Pepper’s Editor’s Choice 2008