The Liberation of Saint PeterAlto Saxophone and Piano
I love to tell a musical story, and this work follows the account of the apostle Peter’s imprisonment and miraculous escape found in Acts 12.
The story begins twelve years after the resurrection and ascension of Jesus, as the early Christian church was increasingly persecuted by both religious leaders and the Roman occupiers of Israel. Movement I begins with the violent episode of King Herod rounding up and killing Christians during the Passover, then throwing their leader in prison. Angular, aggressive saxophone lines and vicious piano clusters portray this brutal attack during a sacred time.
Movement II reflects but a single line in the passage. Verse 5 reads, “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him." A somber passacaglia depicts the passionate prayers of Peter’s fellow believers.
The final movement takes its title and a brief musical moment from my favorite hymn of Charles Wesley, And Can It Be. Depicted here is Peter’s mysterious and exciting encounter with an angel who comes in a flash of light, then quietly sets him free in the dead of night.
This fantastic performance is by Jeremy Justeson & Maria Asteriadou of Kutztown University on 2-7-2013.
Two Burgundian CarolsConcert Band
I have always enjoyed the musical blending of old and new materials. For this piece, I chose two carols from the European region of Burgundy, historically situated in modern-day France and Switzerland. Hardly unfamiliar tunes, Sing We Now of Christmas and Pat-a-Pan are characterized by their simple melodies and similar modal harmonies. I have attempted to weave these sounds of the past and those of the present together, resulting in this lively fantasia.
Two Burgundian Carols was composed for Jerry Junkin and the Dallas Wind Symphony, and premiered at the Morton Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX.
I'll Write a Poem Called YellowBrass Trio
This piece was named the winning brass trio for the 2009 International Brass Chamber Music Festival. Composed for the Yale Brass Trio in January, 2008, I'll Write a Poem Called Yellow was born of my thoughts on the color, and borrows its title from Anne Sexton’s poem “Yellow." Brightness, melancholy, humor, serenity and bitterness are some of the aspects focused on in this three-movement work. Performed here by the Yale Brass Trio.
bendicion de pazChorus a cappella
This is a Spanish-language setting of a well-known Old Testament blessing (Num 6:24-27).
The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; The Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.
This was selected as a finalist in the 2006 Outside the Bachs competition for new sacred music, and premiered by the FUMC Choral Union in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Christmas SongAlto Saxophone and Concert Band
Yes, I do arrangements, too! Conductor Jerry Junkin once suggested this be subtitled Christmas in Las Vegas. Many thanks to Maestro Junkin and the Dallas Wind Symphony for their terrific treatment of this piece. Donald Fabian's saxophone crooning is fantastic!
Potbellied PolkaConcert Band
Light in tone but technically virtuosic, Potbellied Polka is in many ways a play on traditional march form. After a brief introduction, two repeated strains are followed by a trio section, development, and recapitulation. The piece is driven by a series of irregular melodies and lopsided bass lines, combined with shifting harmonies and time signatures. Awkwardness and lyricism collide in the form of an extended baritone saxophone solo, one of the centerpieces of the work.
Ocean DriveJazz Ensemble
I cut my teeth composing jazz charts like this one. A gentle bossa beat drives this jazz samba throughout. The lead alto is featured both on written solo and jazz. Flugelhorns give this piece a smooth texture and a full band soli gives the piece a nice full finish. This piece and others published by the FJH Music Company.