Flying Jewels is a symphonic poem for wind ensemble that attempts to capture the joyous and hopeful spirit of a famous essay by the late author Brian Doyle. The title refers to how Europeans described hummingbirds when first encountering them in North America. Doyle’s essay muses on how intensely and passionately these tiny birds live their lives, with their hearts beating “ten times a second.” He also considers the blue whale’s giant heart, which beats as little as eight times a minute and can be heard from miles away. Ultimately, the essay asserts the connection that all people and creatures share: we all have one heart that carries us through life’s struggles, victories, and simple pleasures. My composition deals with the themes of Doyle’s essay by depicting the heart rhythms of different creatures through various metric/tempo modulations and relationships. First is the hummingbird, flitting about with bright flourishes from woodwinds and metallic percussion at superhuman speeds. A reptile’s three-chambered heart is heard next with nods to the triple-meter dances of the Caribbean. At the center of the work is the human heart, which is a simple tune that slowly builds to a cadence at the heart rate of a blue whale: four giant chords that resound under the ocean depths. Finally, the work recapitulates each idea while gaining speed to combine all of the tempi in an exuberant and ecstatic finale. This work was commissioned by the United States Air Force Band, Col. Don Schofield, commander and conductor.