in my band, percussion, and orchestral works, i explore colors that only larger ensembles can provide. through vibrant rhythms, lyrical melodies, and lush harmonies, my large-ensemble music expresses broad sweeps of emotion on a grander scale.
‘Spectral Fanfare’ for brass ensemble and percussion is a short, exciting piece that explores different triadic colors. The triads dance around the current tonic (home) key, either providing dissonance against or consonance with the tonic. The piece alternates between triadic fanfare calls and melodic lines; a middle lyrical section provides repose before the rousing finale. The title alludes to the sense in which the spectrum of colors is explored in the music, but also refers to an imaginary army of marching spectres, regal and awe-inspiring.
When we were young, my sister and I used to stay with our grandparents for weeks at a time. We would explore the backyard, complete with a fish pond, brick pathways, and a hammock, and skulk around the house, with its many dark nooks and quiet hideaways. One musical feature in the house was the grandfather clock, which struck its tune every quarter hour, ringing throughout the cottage. During the day, the bells were a comforting sound of regularity, but at night when the house was still, we dared not wander about downstairs, for fear that the clock might strike during our passage. 'Midnight Incantations' takes its form from the clock's eerie nighttime tolls; the various sounds and sections reflect imagined adventures that could have been ours, had we dared to trespass the darkened hallways and rooms.
Tango Royale for orchestra
'Tango Royale' was written in 2013 for Germán Gutiérrez and the TCU Symphony Orchestra. Many of the musical ideas were taken from a quartet of the same name that I had composed for the clarinetists of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra just a month before. The style of the piece follows that of an Argentinian tango, and evokes the spirit of music by Astor Piazzolla. Cast in a single movement, the work weaves its way through different thematic areas, each one depicting contrasting moods of the Tango. After a slow introduction to the dance, the orchestra builds to dynamic punctuated chords that become a unifying element throughout the piece. The initial statement of the primary melody is heard in the solo clarinet; other instrument groups spin the theme through various reinterpretations in the first section of the piece. The middle slow section exhibits luxurious lines of passionate solos, in a more personal and reflective mood. The music picks up speed and returns to familiar melodies, but only briefly; the final section of the work continues the acceleration with renewed vigor and new ideas, as the piece comes to a climactic conclusion. Rich with sensuous melodies and tango rhythms, 'Tango Royale' takes the listener on a journey south of the equator and back to a time of mystique and passion.
Victorious! for concert band
'Victorious!' was written in 2013 for Dr. Mark Foster and the Mountain Brook Junior High School Band, who premiered it in April in Birmingham, Alabama. The title came to me at the start of the project when I envisioned the Mountain Brook Spartans in action; the music embodies, through various rhythmic and melodic themes, the spirit of the Spartans. The opening drum rhythms and tribal chanting evokes primal, almost warlike emotions. The main theme, solemn and heavy, is presented shortly thereafter, and reappears throughout the work. A middle solo section highlights a few of the players individually, spinning the main theme out a bit further. Toward the end of the piece, a new, lyrical and uplifting theme is presented, leading to the final buildup and acceleration to the end. The work is designed to be playable by ensembles from the junior high school level and beyond.
Zzzzing! for percussion ensemble
My summer travels take me to Perdido Bay: 'Zzzzing!' embodies the thrill of fishing off the coast of Florida and Alabama in the Gulf of Mexico. The composition tells the tale of running out in a thirty-foot boat, waiting for the fish, the struggles of the catch, and the ride back home across the water. 'Zzzzing!' Was written for Brian West and the Texas Christian University Percussion Ensemble. The work can be purchased through C. Alan Publications at http://c-alanpublications.com/zzzzing/. The recording is available as a download at http://www.amazon.com/ZZZing/dp/B0032125IE/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439223203&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=zzzzing.
phoenix for concert band
‘Phoenix’ was composed for Bobby Francis and the TCU Wind Symphony in 2010. Cast in three movements (I. Spark; II. Silhouette; III. Dawn), the music represents ideas from a haiku poem that a friend and I wrote earlier in the year. In the first movement, a driving march-like accompaniment supports swirling fragments and melodic lines. The second movement is more chorus-like and sweet, representing reflection and transformation. In the third movement, the march returns, but has changed into a triple meter; the central theme, which rises up throughout the movement, is triumphant and reborn.
groovelocity for percussion trio
'Groovelocity' was composed for the Percussion Arts Ensemble. The piece features the marimba, and uses other percussion instruments mostly as accompaniment. The title, a combination of two dynamic words, embodies the spirit of the work, which begins mysteriously and builds to a driving finish. The work can be purchased through C. Alan Publications at http://c-alanpublications.com/groovelocity/, where you can also view score samples. Enjoy!
Anthem for concert band
I was commissioned to compose music for a 60-second advertisement about Youngstown State University, my former place of employment. I was very happy with the music, so I decided to compose a longer piece that begins and ends with the original material, and includes a lyrical section in the middle. I'm looking for a publisher for this one, so if anyone is interested, please let me know!