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2014 Compositions







I have just started writing a brand new chamber music piece entitled "Strings" scored for | Contrabass | Trumpet in C | Piano |. The work will be in seven parts all connected together: | Prologue | I | II | III | IV | V | Epilogue.  The composition explores various musical "strings" or motifs using the contrabass and piano "strings" as a musical tapestry.  I am dedicating this piece to Keith Freeburg, a wonderful musician and artist who lives here in Hendersonville, NC. He owns Freeburg Pianos  and is my piano tuner for my 6 foot Baldwin.  I am starting on "String" number IV and you can check back to see my progress over the next few weeks.  This composition was started last Thursday, October 23, 2014.  Go here and look for the last album listed to hear a Finale MP3 playback file.



Click the pic to go to the Albums by Instrumentation.  Look for the last one, Hues to hear this composition.



I have just completed my first draft of "Hues" scored for | Trumpet (9 of them) | Marimba | Piano |. The work will be in three movements - 1. Purples & Reds (four different valveless trumpets will be used) 2. Blacks & Blues (Bb Trumpet & Flugel Horns will be used) 3. Greens & Yellows (B natural Rotary Valve Post Horn, Eb Cornet, and C Trumpets will be used).  The composition explores various musical period styles using nine different trumpets and six compositional treatments including the rich accoustic sonorities of the Marimba and the Grand Piano. The next step is to start rehearsing it and fine tune the composition.


I. Purples & Reds:


Roman-Celtic (F Signal Herald Trumpet) | Coach Travel ( Bb Post Horn) | Renaissance Faire (F# Post Horn with finger hole) | Taps ( Bb Bugle) 

| use of 4 natural trumpets in this movement |


 4 natural trumpets


| Hints of Ben Hur on the F Signal Trumpet |

| Horse carriage route of the post man on the Bb Post Horn |

| A visit to the Rennaissance Faire on the F# Post Horn for some village dances|

| The playing of Taps on a real bugle with contemporary accompanying chords (adapted from the White-Furguson Taps arrangement) |


II. Blacks & Blues:


| Witches Sabbath (Bb Flugel Horn) | Blues (Bb Trumpet) |

Flugel Bbtrumpet


| Mournful playing on the Bb Flugel Horn |

| Harmonic Series using the flatted 7th (no vales on the Bb trumpet) |

| Transition to the "Blues" on the Flugel Horn with jazz riffs from the Piano and Marimba |

| Bb Trumpet to end the movement |


 III. Greens & Yellows:


|Celtic style (B rotary valve Post Horn & Eb Cornet or Trumpet) | Impressionists (C Trumpet) |


 BPosthorn Ebtrumpet Ctrumpet



| Celtic Song Style the B Natural Post Horn |

| Flashy Reels flash and some chattering between all three instruments | 

| Impressionistic opening Cadenza on the C trumpet with whole tone scales |

| Playful Rondo interplay between Trumpet, Marimba, Piano |




Additional elements will include the use of the trumpet bell as a suspended cymbal for marimba and trumpet player as page turner. The trumpet player does not cope well with this staging (scripted that way) and I expect the audience will enjoy the banter!

There will also be some improvised parts in selected sections of these movements to display the collective creativity of the players.

The Porter Center stage offers the ability to light the stage for each composition section:

  • Purple
  • Red
  • Black (shut off hall lights and musician’s stand lights will be the only lighting for this section)
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Yellow

 Go here and find the Hues album to listen to the Finale playback MP3 of my first drafts of each movement.



Tanglewood Flourishes



Tanglewood Flourishes

I composed that in August 2014 after coming back from a Tanglewood visit to see my mother and sister. While we were there I started thinking of the 2015 Tanglewood on Parade week and thought this could be one of the opening fanfares for that event. Go here to listen to a Finale Playback of this new work. Look for the Brass Ensemble album and select the 7th cut in that album. 

If you are really observant you will hear that first flourish uses A-G-E-D.....A-A-D-E.... which are all letters in "  t A n G l E woo D on p A r A D E " .

Flourish notes