Some Assembly Required

Grade 6

6.5 minutes

Composed to celebrate coming together after the covid pandemic and premiered by The United States Army Band on August 29, 2021 in Manassas, Virginia with the composer conducting

The United States Army Band at the 2023 Tuba-Euphonium Conference

So…the covid pandemic. That pretty much sucked, didn’t it?

It was a pretty miserable time, but if you look hard a few good things came out of it. Physical distancing and other mitigations forced us all to creatively find new ways of making music. Because of that, our repertoire is now richer with music written for flexible instrumentation and ensembles of all shapes, sizes, and circumstances. But for a long time, we who care deeply about music and music making were missing the single best thing that kept us motivated, happy, and alive. Now, in retrospect, it’s hard to imagine how lonely it all felt, but one of the things that kept me going was the thought that the pandemic would eventually end, and there would be a time when we could all come together again in large groups to make and share music the way it was intended. That first time back together after so many months of isolation would be cause for more than a celebration, but an almost riotous explosion of relief and joy.

I wrote this piece for that occasion. But now that we’re back to “normal,” let it live on as an ecstatic celebration of togetherness, and a reminder not to take it for granted. For when it comes to making music, there is some assembly required.