Ride was written as a gesture of appreciation for all of the kind things Jack Stamp has done for me: ranging from his unwavering friendship to his heartfelt advice on composition and subjects beyond. During the years 2001 & 2002, some wonderful things began to happen with my compositions that were unparalleled to any professional good fortune I had previously experienced. The common thread in all of these things was Jack Stamp. I began to receive phone calls from all over the country, inquiring about my music, and when I traced back the steps of how someone so far away could know of my (then) unpublished works, all paths led to either reading sessions Jack had conducted, or recommendations he made to band directors about the new pieces for wind band. The noblest thing about him was that he never let me reciprocate in any way, not even allowing me to buy him dessert after a concert. All he would ever say is, "just keep sending me music," which I could only take as the privilege it was, as well as an opportunity to give something back that was truly unique.
In late April of 2002, Jack had invited me to take part in a composer's forum he had organized for his students at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I was to present along side Joseph Wilcox Jenkins, Mark Camphouse, Bruce Yurko and Aldo Forte. This forum was affectionately referred to in my house as "four famous guys and you." It was such a creatively charged event, that everyone who took part was still talking about it months after it happened. Following the first day of the forum, Jack invited all of the composers to his house, where his wife Lori had prepared an incredible gourmet dinner. Since I didn't know how to get to Jack's house (a/k/a Gavorkna House) from the university, he told me to follow him. So he and his passenger, Mark Camphouse, began the fifteen minute drive with me behind them. The combination of such an invigorating day as well as my trying to follow Jack at the top speed a country rode can be driven, is what wrote this piece in my head in the time it took to get from the IUP campus to the Stamp residence. Ride was written and titled for that exact moment in my life when Jack Stamp's generosity and lead foot were as equal in their inspiration as the beautiful Indiana, PA country side blurring past my window.
"I play alto sax in the Kennesaw Mountain High School Wind Ensemble. The solo blew me away when I first saw it, but now I love it! I encourage Mr. Hazo to write more excellent music during his career."
"Ride is just that; an exhilaratingly fun piece for any band to play. My friends and I still hum Ride's catchy melodies and rhythms, even though we're finished with it. Mr. Hazo is a truly prolific talent in the realm of modern composition, and I highly recommend his work to "
"Our conductor said this was an excellent modern composition and having performed it I absolutely agree with him."
"I played this piece in the Eastern US Music Camp select Wind Ensemble and we somehow managed to get this piece together in just 4 rehersals. I am not a big fan of concert band music but this piece just blows me away. I am totally in love with it and cannot tell you just how much fun it is, encourage your band directors to pick it!"
"This song is a great piece in every aspect of the word. This piece was the closing piece in my band's Carnigie Hall debut and was the last piece I played with my conductor for the past six years. This song is energetic has an amazing sax solo, and tells a story that only music can from start to end."