Bass Trombone and Wind Band
Instrumentation: Solo and Wind Band Instruments: Bass Trombone, Tuba
Genre: ContemporaryOriginally for bass trombone (or tuba) and piano, was composed for Charles Vernon, bass trombonist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the 30th Anniversary of the International Trombone Festival. This significant addition to the repertoire is written in an accessible modern style. The musical language is sophisticated, yet appealing to general audiences. Illuminations is cast in 2 contrasting movements: The first, Reverie, is contemplative and lyrical. Beautiful, expansive melodic lines are woven into a gentle, almost mystical, musical fabric. The second movement, Urban Lights, is an energetic rondo that is strongly influenced by jazz, and in one section, funk music. “Thoughtful, tuneful, and rewarding to perform.” – ITA Journal Learn More$100.00
Instrumentation: Solo and Wind Band Instruments: Bass Trombone
I. Toy Soldiers
IV. Capture the Flag
I commissioned this concerto in honor of Maestro Charles Schneider, the founding music director of Glimmerglass Opera and recently retired conductor of four symphony orchestras in upstate New York: Schenectady, Catskill (Oneonta), Utica, and Clinton. Maestro Schneider gave me my first job when I moved to the area. In addition to the symphonies and opera, I enjoyed playing under Chuck’s direction for a wide variety of one-nighters with famous musicians, Broadway shows at the Orpheus Theater, and with two ballet companies. His impact on the musical life of Central New York over the past five decades is incalculable. He is currently putting the finishing touches on his own opera, Skaters.
Barbara York likes to find inspiration for her compositions in the life of the person who places the commission, thus the subtitle War Games, taken from my avid interest in tabletop board games.
Toy Soldiers paints a vivid picture of plastic men come to life, patrolling the house after dark, then returning to their game box as the skies begin to brighten.
Courtship and Marriage speak to the sometimes not so subtle “battle of the sexes” we often experience in our relationships.
When I first heard the synthesized sound file for Courtship, I was delighted by its 19th-century parlor music flavor. Ms. York later explained that she wanted to capture the courtship scenes in my Civil War novel, The Unfinished Work. She succeeded beautifully! The movement opens with Jake’s heartfelt emotions as he awaits the arrival of his beloved. When she arrives, a minor dispute breaks out: “I thought you said….” Jake splutters his defense but is cut off with her, “Did too!” Emotion released, his beloved turns to gentle flirtations; but after a brief interlude, her temper briefly flares once again. Jake calms her by pouring out his heart in music.
The mixed meters and minor key in Marriage keep the listener off balance and create a wonderful sense of intrigue: standard strategies from The Wife’s Game Plan?
Capture the Flag percolates with the energy and adrenaline rush of seeking to capture before being captured.
The piano edition was premiered by Frank Meredith and Charles Powers on May 31, 2019 at Calvary Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Schenectady, NY.
The band edition was premiered by Frank Meredith and the Catskill Valley Wind Ensemble; Andrew Pease, conductor; November 17, 2019 in Oneonta, NY.