Blue Ridge (or The Blue Ridge Mountains) is a mountain range within the larger Appalachian Mountains. The trees growing on the mountainside in this area release hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. The natural haze produced in this process, when the range is viewed from a distance, gives the mountain a distinctive blue-ish colour. Various Indian tribes including Siouan, Manahoacs, Shawnee and Cherokee farmed the mountain-side and fished the Blue Ridge Lake for food, making Blue Ridge their natural homeland. In the early 1600s, western settlers moved into Virginia and Georgia. As their trade and industry increased in size, so did the land they required. This expansion included encroachment into Native American's land which caused frequent hostility between settlers and tribes. Eventually the native inhabitants were pushed further and further into the west and eventually out of the Blue Ridge mountain range. Blue Ridge is now predominantly a tourist area stretching across two national parks, Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains.
Sunrise Over Blue Ridge takes its inspiration from the wonderful landscapes which can be seen in this part of the world. This version for Concert Band received its premiere in Carnegie Hall at the New York Wind Band Festival 2010.