Great music begins with a single note.
Flight! was commissioned by Colonial/UNUM Provident for the South Carolina Philharmonic, Nicholas Smith, conductor. It was inspired by the artwork of the humanist/realist artist Tyrone Geter. It is an energetic, up-tempo fanfare that is structured around two principle themes. The piece derives much of its melodic and rhythmic interest from the opening trumpet motive. This motive is developed and transferred throughout the orchestra for much of the first section of the piece. The middle section employs a number of techniques for thematic development including canon, melodic inversion, augmentation, and diminution. The final section is a recapitulation of the primary theme and ends with a dramatic climax.
Flight! is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/2tf9reud
Were You There? is an adaptation of the Afro-American spiritual of the same name attributed to John and Frederick Work. This amazingly powerful orchestration for chamber orchestra features solo flute throughout the piece. The solemn opening presents the melody that permeates the work. The intensity rises and falls with every climax and returns to a plaintive statement of the verse with solo flute, clarinet, and piano at the end. In every way, Were You There? captures the essence of a true-to-form Negro spiritual.
Were You There? is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/mvdazfa3
Flourish of the Silver Cadets was composed in honor of the student musicians at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, South Carolina. It is a lively fanfare full of flare and excitement throughout the piece. The piece opens with a triumphant brass feature and has many alternating passages of lyrical phrases and characteristic sounds of traditional concert fanfares.
Flourish of the Silver Cadets is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/yc89h8h2
Indigo Run was commissioned by the University of Miami Wind Ensemble and the New Music Consortium under the direction of Gary Green, conductor, and Michael Robinson, consortium director. It is a musical display of the rich and vibrant hue found in the Carolina low country. It is an outgrowth of the composer’s thoughts as he was taking his morning run through the Indigo Park community on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. While not a fully programmatic depiction of the scenery, the work attempts to recreate the essence of the landscape in sound.
The composition opens with a dramatic slow introduction followed by a four-part overture. The fast sections are quick and energetic to contrast with the warm and gentle slow section. The entire piece features driving rhythms with a generous blend of agile motives and strong chords. The lyric melodies and lush harmonies are a vivid representation of the beautiful scenery that has made Hilton Head Island one of the most popular resort cities in the United States.
Indigo Run is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/2p99a8bk
Adagio and Dance was commissioned by and dedicated to the 1996 Guilford County Middle School Honor Band in Greensboro, North Carolina. The slow and mysterious first section is contrasted with a bright and playful dance section featuring driving rhythmic ostinatos and energetic melodic passages. The scoring allows for young bands to achieve a full and mature ensemble sound that makes the work exciting for both listeners and performers.
Adagio and Dance is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/45rmzc2d
Lakeside Episode was commissioned by and dedicated to the Chapin Middle School Band under the direction of David Santiago. It is a loosely programmatic work that portrays the stately character and small town elegance of the town of Chapin, South Carolina. This concert overture features lively rhythms and strong thematic material throughout the work.
Lakeside Episode is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/2p94nfvz
Longtown Legacy was commissioned by the Blythewood Middle School Band under the direction of Brad Layton. It was composed in honor of Mrs. Jo Hecker, retired principal of Bethel-Hanberry Elementary, Summit Parkway Middle, and Blythewood Middle Schools. This overture has spirit and drive right from the opening fanfare. The rhythmic writing propels the work forward while the scoring explores many rich sonorities and textures. An expressive three-four section includes several exchanges of solo passages for first seat players to really shine. The colorful orchestration pays careful attention to all sections of the ensemble will surely show off the talents of a young band.
Longtown Legacy is available from Grand Mesa Music Publishers. https://tinyurl.com/yckj8r38
Palmetto Fantasy was commissioned by and dedicated to the 1996 Richland School District One Middle School Honor Band under the baton of the composer. This showpiece features the harmonic coloring and authentic rhythms of the many musical styles heard throughout South Carolina, the “Palmetto State.” The sparkle and energy of the piece allows for all sections of the band to shine including many exciting and interesting percussion parts.
Palmetto Fantasy is available from TRN Music Publisher, Inc. https://tinyurl.com/ymzbc5aa
Impromptu for tuba and piano explores a variety of musical moods ranging from dark and ominous to joyful and exuberant. It is a wonderful display of melodic inventiveness and rhythmic interest utilizing creative exchanges between tuba and piano throughout the composition. After a mysterious introduction, a brisk allegro section provides an unrelenting presentation of energy and vitality that characterizes much of the piece.
Impromptu is available from the composer. https://tinyurl.com/yckve8cn
Allegro Giocoso is a wonderful display of melodic inventiveness and rhythmic interest utilizing creative exchanges between the pianos throughout the composition. A “scherzo-like” ternary form is employed with the piece deriving much of its melodic and rhythmic interest from the theme introduced in the opening measures. The complex rhythmic scheme conveys a feeling of perpetual motion throughout each segment.
Allegro Giocoso is available from the composer.
Three Dreams is a song cycle set to the texts of poetry by Langston Hughes. Dreams, the first song in the cycle, is slow and introspective. The second song, Dream Dust, combines the texts of two poems, Dream Dust and Dream Weaver. The third song in the cycle, I Dream a World, set to the text of the poem of the same name has been set by a number of composers.
Three Dreams is available from the composer.
Dreams - https://tinyurl.com/4v4c47zw
Dream Dust - https://tinyurl.com/2p83wads
I Dream a World - https://tinyurl.com/3hjdjad8
Suite for Young Voices was commissioned by the SC Music Teachers Association and the state chapter of MTNA. The central theme of the suite is one of peace, friendship, and unity. I Hear a Voice has an uplifting melody and conveys a message of self-discovery and friendship. Meditation features a mysterious and flowing melody with contemporary harmonies. I Believe is an upbeat song with a powerful message of unity and national brotherhood.
Suite for Young Voices is available from the composer.
I Hear a Voice - https://tinyurl.com/4e7s3b9n
Meditation - https://tinyurl.com/2p85mfwr
I Believe - https://tinyurl.com/4yrnxfe3
Homework Blues was composed on commission for the Richland School District One Journey Through the Arts Festival. It is structured in a true 12-bar blues progression. it is designed to introduce the concept of swing to young singers and offers an accessible approach to two-part harmony for inexperienced or small ensembles. The light-hearted text will certainly bring a smile to the faces of parents and teachers every time they hear it. It's a toe-tappin', finger-snappin' selection that makes the blues enjoyable for both listeners and performers.
Homework Blues is available from the composer.