Brass Musick

Premiere: 13 December 1999 at Pierce Chapel, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL. Ensemble conducted by the composer

Duration: ca. 6′

Instrumentation: chamber ensemble (0.0.1.0 – 0.2.1.1 – perc.(1 player) – pno.)

Performance Note: Brass Musick is a set of three short character pieces for an ensemble of wind, brass, and percussion instruments. The opening movement is a celebratory brass fanfare that I wrote in November 1999 in honor of my grandfather’s 84th birthday that year. This is followed by a somewhat inebriated “Blues” movement for brass plus percussion, joined at the very end by the clarinet. The finale is a fantasy on a street performance I witnessed while in New Orleans in November 1996: on that occasion I came across a trio of clarinet, trombone, and snare drum giving a riotous and invigorating interpretation of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” In my setting, the tune is arranged for the full ensemble, now including piano, and retitled “Cardinal Bernadin Entering Into Heaven,” in memory of Chicago’s former archbishop.