Soloist with Band

CONCERTO FOR TUBA AND BAND (gr. 6/4) 20 minutes
Tuba-Euphonium Press

Three movement work, dedicated to my friend and colleague R. Winston Morris and wife Barbara (Bobbie). Throughout the work the emphasis is on melody, supported by clearly defined forms and harmonic structure.  Available in band version and tuba/piano reduction.

Tuba-Euphonium Press: Concerto for Tuba and Band

Recording available at
Tennessee Tech Pride--Timothy Northcut

EUPHONIUM CONCERTO (BAND (gr. 6/4) 30 minutes

Cimarron Music

Program Notes

Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces explores the theory that myths from around the world and through all time share a fundamental structure, which Campbell termed the monomyth.  From Greek mythology to the story of the Buddha to modern literature and film, elements of the monomyth, or hero’s journey, are evident.  While reading Campbell’s book I began to see interesting parallels between the literary form of the monomyth and the musical form of the concerto.  A large tripartite design characterize both, and in both a certain drama is inherent between the hero (soloist) and the wide world (orchestra).  The interrelationships between these opposing forces offers a fascinating parallel.  In composing this concerto, I have reflected musically on the emotional context of the monomyth, allowing the form of the composition to mirror stages Campbell outlines in the hero’s journey.  Offered below is a summary of these literary/musical parallels in the concerto, with Campbell’s monomyth stages in bold.

Movement One:  Departure
The story begins at home, in the Ordinary World.  Soon the hero is faced with some ordeal that creates a Call to Adventure.  Once the hero has committed to the quest there is often Supernatural Aid in the form of a mentor or guide.  The Belly of the Whale is Campbell’s term for the final stage of departure and represents the separation from the hero’s known world.

Musically the Departure movement has four main sections to parallel the emotional context of the story form.  The “ordinary world” or “home” theme features a rhapsodic melody in the solo euphonium over  a shifting tonal and textural accompaniment.  The “call to adventure” offers the first presentation of the hero’s theme.  The music is bold and driving, alternating between soloist and full ensemble.  Next comes a more mystical section representing the “supernatural aid/meeting with the mentor.”  Here the music is more thinly scored, with motives from previous sections developed and presented in a new way.  The final section, “the belly of the whale,” is exciting and virtuosic, leading to a dramatic restatement of the hero’s theme.

Movement Two:  Initiation
The middle section of the monomyth begins with the Road of Trials--a series of tests or ordeals that the individual must undergo to begin the heroic transformation. Meeting with the Goddess is metaphorically that point in the story where the hero experiences an unconditional love that is all encompassing.  At approximately the middle of the story is an Apotheosis--the transcendence of the hero to a higher place, equipped with the knowledge and perception to continue the adventure.  Following this is The Ultimate Boon--the benefit, blessing or treasure bestowed on the hero. 

This second movement is largely introspective in character.  The “road of trials” is presented musically as a fugue in the ensemble, followed by a lyrical solo melody.  This music then moves to the “meeting with the goddess”--a  simple melody presented initially with piano accompaniment and then developed throughout the ensemble.  The final section, “apotheosis/ultimate boon,” starts with an ostinato accompaniment over which the soloist plays an expansive melody, building to a bold statement of the hero’s theme.  The movement ends with a reminiscent reference to the “home” theme from the first movement. 

Movement Three:  Return
On closing the quest, the hero sets off for home to bring the knowledge of the adventure to others.  The first stage in this return is The Magical Flight.  Often the boon, or treasure, has been obtained through conflict or without consent, leading to the need to escape.  The Resurrection is the climax of the myth, where the hero is severely tested once more and must make one last sacrifice.  It is the final relief after the trials and tribulations of the adventure and creates the closure of the story.  Freedom to Live is the final element of the monomyth.  The hero returns home bearing some element of the treasure that has the power to transform the world as the hero was transformed.

The music for “the magical flight” is lively and adventurous, alternating between frantic and somewhat comical.  The “resurrection” theme, first presented in the oboe and then handed over to the euphonium, is expansive and lyrical, culminating by morphing into a climactic restatement of the hero’s theme and the “home” theme.  “Freedom to live” is a coda for the movement, reprising several themes from throughout the concerto and ending with a triumphant flourish.

Available in band version and tuba/piano reduction.

SLIDE RIDE (gr. 6/4) 7 minutes
C. Alan Publications

Trombone solo with band. Written for my friend and colleague Josh Hauser. A fast paced, rhythmic showpiece for trombone. Available also for trombone and piano.

Sample score and sound clip: Slide Ride

Recording available at
Slide Ride--Joshua Hauser the the Tennessee Tech Symphony Band

C. Alan Publications

Cuico was written for the Caixa Trio (Julie Davila, Julie Hill, and Amy Smith) and the Tullahoma (TN) High School band, Stephen and Marion Coleman, directors. The composition is in a five-section through composed form, with the musical material illustrating an Aztec creation myth on the origin of music.