From its discovery in the early 1800s to its collapse in 2003, The Old Man of the Mountain was one of the defining symbols of the state of New Hampshire, showing up on state quarters, license plates, and route signs. It was grand and majestic wonder of nature and it will forever be remembered as such even long after its collapse. In 1832, author Nathaniel Hawthorne would visit the area for the first time, and published his short story "The Great Stone
Face," inspired by this visit, in 1850. Here is a brief excerpt of the short story:
"The Great Stone Face, then, was a work of Nature in her mood of majestic playfulness, formed on the perpendicular side of a mountain by some immense rocks, which had been thrown together in such a position as, when viewed at a proper distance, precisely to resemble the features of the human countenance. It seemed as if an enormous giant, or a Titan, had sculptured his own likeness on the precipice. There was the broad arch of the
forehead, a hundred feet in height; the nose, with its long bridge; and the vast lips, which, if they could have spoken, would have rolled their thunder accents from one end of the valley to the other. True it is, that if the spectator approached too near, he lost the outline of the gigantic visage, and could discern only a heap of ponderous and gigantic rocks, piled in chaotic ruin one upon another. Retracing his steps, however, the wondrous features would
again be seen; and the farther he withdrew from them, the more like a human face, with all its original divinity intact, did they appear; until, as it grew dim in the distance, with the clouds and glorified vapor of the mountains clustering about it, the Great Stone Face seemed positively to be alive."
This piece is meant to convey the grandness of this lost work of nature. I hope you enjoy performing this with your wind ensemble.