Aria and Toccata

Solo Grade 6, Band Grade 5+–12 minutes

Premiered by The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” on February 2, 2019 with soloist Sergeant First Class Lauren Curran and the composer conducting

The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” hosts an annual Tuba/Euphonium Conference that regularly features premieres of new works. After a couple of years participating as a conductor, I decided I would take a crack at writing my own piece featuring the euphonium. It’s a wonderful instrument to write for, not only for its lyricism but also its technical capabilities, especially in the hands of a master musician. When I conceived the aria melody of this piece, it struck me as perfect for the mellow warmth of the instrument. Soon after I had a good start on the composition, the Army reassigned me to a new band and all of a sudden writing the piece wasn’t a priority. So much for that plan!

A few years later I finally finished the piece, but the stars didn’t quite align to have it performed right away. I created a piano reduction at the request of Lauren Curran, who performed it in the summer of 2015, and she premiered the band version four years later (finally!) with Pershing’s Own.