Works

Band

The First Age of Middle-Earth: a Symphony for Concert Band  (2013-2014)

I – The Shadow Lengthens
II – The Fall of Nargothrond
III – Upon Hearing the Nightingale
IV – The Morningtide of Númenor

This symphony is dedicated to the Hardin-Simmons University Concert Band and its conductor, Dr. Wayne Dorothy. It was inspired by important themes that I found in The Silmarillion. It formed the basis of a presentation I gave titled, “From Epic Narrative to Music: Tolkien’s Universe as Inspiration for The First Age of Middle-earth: a Symphony for Concert Band” for the Centre for English, Translation and Anglo-Portuguese Studies for the Worlds made of Heroes Conference “On the 60th anniversary of the publication of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring”, 6-7 November 2014, Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto.

Show Recordings

Three Portuguese Folksongs  (2008)

arranged for middle school band

I. Uma laranja

II. Meu benzinho

III. La vai o comboio

This set was premiered by the Anson High School Concert Band (Anson, Texas) under the direction of Rob Hartman.

Short and Suite  (2007)

arrangement of Dance Suite for wind ensemble

I. Prelude

II. March

III. Ballade

IV. Waltz

V. Two-Step

This set was premiered by the Hardin-Simmons University Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Wayne Dorothy.

Three Sketches on Jonathan  (2006)

for wind ensemble

I. Whirling Dervish

II. Night Sighs

III. Mischief

This work is an arrangement of my “Piano Sonata, no. 1”. I made this arrangement because I believed the material was perfect for concert band. The set is highly evocative of some of the fun things my son did when he was a child.

Energy of Youth  (2000)

for concert band

This piece was commissioned by Chris Mudd, former band director of Churchill High School in Eugene, Oregon.

Hope in the Age of Anxiety  (1999)

for concert band

This piece was read by the University of Oregon Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Rob Ponto.

Ascension  (1991, rev. 1998)

for marching band

The original version was performed by the Saint Paul High School Marching Band (Santa Fe Springs, California) under the direction of Bernie Scherr.

Bandmaster Overture  (1990, rev. 1994)

for wind ensemble

This piece was commissioned by Duane Weston, former band director of the College of the Sequoias, Visalia, California. Its premiere was conducted by Bernie Scherr.

Fanfare and Entry  (1987)

for marching band

This piece was premiered by the College of the Sequoias marching band under the direction of Bernie Scherr. This piece is basically a 70’s pop tune which I composed as an “in the stands” chart for football games. It was fun.

Chamber Instrumental

Nocturne  (2019)  5'07"

Dedicated to and Commissioned by Lawson Hager

For Lawson Hager and the Horn Studio at Hardin-Simmons University

Parable for Oboe and Piano  (2019)

Dedicated to Susie Rockett.

A Single Candle  (2018)

bassoon and piano

Commissioned by Dr. Janelle Ott, Instructor of Bassoon, HSU.

Forever Rising  (2018)  4.00

double trumpet quintet

This piece was commissioned by members of the Lone Star State Trumpet Guild for their upcoming performance at the 2019 TMEA Convention in San Antonio, Texas.

Symphonic Suite for Trumpet and Percussion  (2018)

Commissioned by Dr. David Amlung and Dr. Juan Mendoza

Lontano  (2018)

for trumpet and electronics

Water Colors  (2018)

I. Trees

II. Hills and Mountains

III. The Vineyard

IV. Water Colors

selections arranged for string quartet

Four “Chants” of Francisco de Lacerda  (2018)

I. Chant du feu

II. Chanson triste

III. Chant de la montagne

IV. Chanson de la route (Nord)

arranged for string quartet, originally for piano

Canção do berço of Francisco de Lacerda  (2018)

arranged for string quartet, originally for piano

Just Below the Eaves  (2017)

Commissioned by the Key City Winds.

for woodwind quintet

Just Stand Up and Play  (2017)

Commissioned by Dr. David Amlung for the Lone Star State Trumpet Guild.

for trumpet quintet

Music of the Ainur  (2018)

Dedicated to the Key City Chamber Consortium.

for woodwind quintet, brass quintet, string quartet, piano, percussion, and electronics

For Those We Miss  (2016)  8:48

for two trumpets and piano

This piece is dedicated to all of the wonderful musicians that have either recently passed away or are no longer teaching at HSU. The music traces their emotional state of hearing bad news and their struggle with the life decisions that followed this news.

Three Pieces for Brass Quintet and Organ  (2016)

Written for the Key City Brass Quintet and Hye-Jean Choi

I. Intensity

II. Solemnity

III. Jollity

A Trumpet Shall Sound for brass quintet  (2016)

This piece was commissioned by Dr. David Amlung, Assistant Professor of Music, McMurry University, in honor of Dr. Mark Wilcox.

Show Recordings

Cirith Ungol  (2015)  11:12

Flute/Piccolo, Oboe/English horn, Bb Clarinet/Bb Bass Clarinet, Bassoon, C Trumpet, F Horn, Trombone, Tuba, 2 Violins, Viola, Cello, Piano, Percussion: claves, triangle, timbales (2), cymbals, tam-tam

This piece was requested by Dr. Charlie Coltman for the Abilene Chamber Players for a special concert featuring Hardin-Simmons University Composers. The concert was in the fall of 2015. I have wanted to compose a piece based on the time Frodo and Sam entered Shelob’s tunnel to their leaving the Tower of Cirith Ungol. I also wanted to work with my colleagues, Steve Neves and Mike Jones, on creating drawings that focused on 10 scenes from this story arc. The performance included a film of their art that was coordinated with the music. Anyone familiar with Tolkien’s masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings, will know that this episode is perhaps the most frightening and perilous part of his epic story. If not for the heroic bravery of Sam, the quest to destroy the Ring would have failed. The music and artwork, in many ways, are in homage to him.

Show Recordings
Cirith Ungol

Grey Skies  (2014)

for F horn and piano

Commissioned by Dr. Robert Tucker. This piece was inspired by the grey skies that haunted Sam and Frodo as they struggled in their journey towards Mordor.  They were single-minded in their dedicated to completing what seemed and felt like an impossible task. They overcame their fear and constantly moved forward toward their goal, whatever end that would be.

On Memories Not Forgotten: Echoes of Regret and Whispers of Solitude  (2014)

for flute and piano

Commissioned by Dr. Karla Ordoñez. This piece was inspired by the tragic memories of the remnant of the Noldor still living in Middle-earth in the Third Age who remember the kin-strife caused by the Oath of Fëanor.

The Music of Valinor  (2013)

for brass quintet in four movements

I. The Procession of the Valar, With the Interludes of Melkor

II. The Song of Yavanna, Creating Telperion and Laurelin

III. The Treachery of Melkor, the Theft of the Silmarils

IV. The Ascent of Vingilot, the Rise of the Star of Eärendil

This piece is inspired by the beautiful tales found in The Silmarillion, and was composed and premiered by the Key City Brass Quintet.

Show Recordings

Summer  (2012)

for brass quintet in four movements

I. Sun Rising

II. Heat

III. No Vacation

IV. Early evening

This piece was inspired by the terribly hot summer of 2010. It was composed for and premiered by the Key City Brass Quintet.

Show Recordings

Tightrope  (2012)

for piano duet

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Kay Williams and Dr. Pauline Bjorem. They are on the piano faculty at Abilene Christian University. This piece contains a number of jazz idioms, such as rag-time rhythms and extended seventh-chords.

Bernie’s Blues  (2012)

electronic

This piece was composed as an example to be used in my “Composing with Pro Tools and Reason” class. It’s a funny little tune imitating a live performance. The class and I are both audience and performers.

Show Recordings

What’s for Lunch?  (2011)

for flute, oboe, and clarinet, in three movements

I. Noodles

II. Ice Tea

III. Soup

This piece was written at the request of my “lunch buddies” for the woodwind faculty at Hardin-Simmons University.

Show Recordings

The Setting Sun  (2011)

for flute and piano

This piece was a commission by Dr. Lisa McArthur, Professor of Music at Campbellsville University.

Corners  (2011)

for trumpet quartet

This piece was a commission by Dr. John Irish, Professor of Trumpet at Angelo State University.

Featurettes  (2010)

for brass quintet, in three movements

Featurette I: A Little Work

Featurette II: A Little Rest

Featurette III: A Little Play

This piece was written for and premiered by the Key City Brass Quintet.

Echoes  (2010)

fanfare for two trumpets

This piece was written for Dr. Mark Wilcox and Dr. Bernard Scherr.

Openings  (2010)

for viola quartet

This piece was a commission by Dr. Peter Neubert, Visiting Assistant Professor of Viola at Hardin-Simmons University.

No Second Chances  (2010)

for percussion octet

This piece was commissioned by Keith Lloyd, Instructor of Percussion and Music History, McMurry University.

Night and Day  (2010)

for solo clarinet in two movements

I. Night

II. Day

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Charles Coltman, Professor of Woodwinds, Hardin-Simmons University.

Let’s Go Fast  (2010)

for trumpet quintet

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Mark Wilcox, Assistant Professor of High Brass, McMurry University.

Music in Colors  (2010)

four piano pieces on the paintings of Joao de Brito

I. Trees

II. Hills and Mountains

III. The Vineyard

IV. Water Colors

This work was inspired by the paintings of Joao de Brito and the brilliant piano playing of Joao Bettencourt da Camara. Senor da Camara has performed these pieces in the US and the UK.

Show Recordings

Groovy Pastorinhas  (2010)

for brass quintet

This piece was written for the Key City Brass Quintet.

Show Recordings

Six Portuguese Folksongs for Brass Quintet  (2010)

arranged for young musicians

I. A Pastorinha

II. Carro amaricano

III. Coradinha

IV. Mourisca

V. O ai, o linda!

VI. O Xi-Xi

These pieces have been performed many times by the Key City Brass Quintet.

Show Recordings

Black Coffee  (2009)

for cello and piano

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Kristin Isaacson, Assistant Professor of Cello and String Bass, Hardin-Simmons University.

Three Cues for Trumpet and Piano  (2009)

I. Watch Out

II. Take a Break

III. Get Up, Get Moving

This piece was written for Dr. Mark Wilcox, Assistant Professor of High Brass, McMurry University.

Three Portuguese Folksongs  (2009)

for piano

I. Os Reis, Ó da casa carvalheira

II. A Nossa Senhora d’Aires

III. Cana Verde

These arrangements were made for the celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of Balzer and Blondina Scherr.

I Need A Nap  (2008)

for viola and piano

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Peter Neubert, Visiting Instructor of Music, Hardin-Simmons University.

Show Recordings

Dance Suite  (2007)

for piano, in five movements

I. Prelude

II. March

III. Ballade

IV. Waltz

V. Two-Step

This piece was arranged for concert band which was premiered by the Hardin-Simmons University Concert Band under the direction of Dr. Wayne Dorothy.

Portuguese Folksongs, Book I  (2006)

arranged for string quartet and string orchestra

I. A “Fecha” da Mijarela

II. A Senhora da Saúde

III. Dai voltas, Senhor!

IV. Á Sombra do arvoredo

V. Os Reis

VI. Aldeia não vale nada

VII. O menina “Delaidinha”!

Show Recordings

Portuguese Folksongs, Book II  (2006)

arranged for string quartet and string orchestra

I. O “melitar, melitar”!

II. Namorei a Felismina

III. Eu esta “manhé áchei”

IV. Brincas tu

V. Cravos em teu peito

VI. Esta Noite Rodou um Carro

VII. Donde vens, ó Agostinho?

Show Recordings

Morning Whispers  (2006)

for flute, viola, and harp

Jubilation Fanfare  (2005)

for 6 trumpets, 5 horns, 3 trombones, 2 euphoniums, and 2 tubas

Organ Trio  (2005)

for violin, cello, and organ, in three movements

I. Expectation

II. Waiting

III. Arrival

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Tido Janssen, former Associate Professor of Cello and String Bass, Hardin-Simmons University.

Show Recordings

Clarinet Sonata  (2004)

for clarinet and piano.

This piece was commissioned by Dr. Charles Coltman, Professor of Woodwinds, Hardin-Simmons University. This work has also been performed on numerous occasions by Dr. Thomas Josenhans.

Show Recordings

Fanfare for Six Horns  (2002)

This piece was written for the horn studio of former Dean and Associate Professor of Horn, Lawson Hager, Hardin-Simmons University.

Piano Quintet  (2002)

for clarinet, violin, viola, cello, and piano, in three movements

I. With intensity

II. Adagio

III. Chaconne

This piece was commissioned and premiered by the Abilene Chamber Players.

Show Recordings

Academic Fanfare and Prelude  (2001)

for brass octet, timpani, and organ

This work was commissioned by Hardin-Simmons University for the inauguration of its former president, Dr. Craig Turner.

Organ Preludes  (1994-2001)

No. 1 based on Agnus Dei for Feasts of the Blessed Virgin (Cum jubilo)

No. 2 based on Veni, Veni Emmanuel

No. 3 based on Alma Redemptoris

No. 4 based on Ryrie for Feasts of the Blessed Virgin (Cum jubilo)

No. 5 based on Pange lingua gloriosi

No. 6 based on Stabat Mater

No. 7 based on O Filii et Filiae

No. 8 based on Of the Father’s Love Begotten

No. 9 based on Jesu dulcis memoria

No. 10 based on Creator alme siderum

No. 11 based on Victimae Paschali Laudes

No. 12 based on Veni Creator Spiritus

These preludes are based on the plainchants listed below. Preludes 11 and 12 were commissioned by Dr. David Eaton, former Assistant Professor of Organ, Hardin-Simmons University. The complete collection is published by Zimbel Press.

Fanfare for the New Millennium  (2001)

for brass quintet

This piece won the University of Oregon’s 125th Anniversary Composition Commission Competition. 

Fanfare for an Uncommon Trumpeter  (2000, rev. 2011)

for solo Bb trumpet

Around the Box  (1997)

for tape, electronic music piece; lost

Brass Octet No. 1  (1996‑97)

for 2 trumpets, 2 horns, 2 trombones, euphonium, and tuba, in three movements

I. Prelude

II. Chorale

III. Time

This piece was premiered in Eugene, Oregon, in 1997.

Show Recordings

Scherzo on Man Mei Longe  (1997)

for 2 clarinets and 2 marimbas

This piece was an assignment for my doctorate exams in composition. I enjoyed the result so much that I have added it to my oeuvre. It awaits its premiere.

Compline  (1996)

for violin and piano

Woodwind Quartet No. 1  (1996)

for flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, in four movements

I. March

II. Lament

III. Chorale

IV. Rondo

This piece was premiered in Eugene, Oregon, in 1997. It had its Texas premiere Abilene in 2012.

Fanfare for Four Trumpets  (1995)

This piece was written for trumpet players in the studio of George Recker, my trumpet professor at the University of Oregon. It was premiered at the School of Music graduation ceremony in 1996.

Fugue  (1995)

for oboe, clarinet, and bassoon

This piece cleverly combines quartal and quintal elements in a serial manner.

Show Recordings

Waltzophone  (1995)

for alto saxophone and piano

This piece is a tribute to Gustave Mahler, one of my compositional heroes.

Miniature Dance Suite  (1994-95)

for flute, viola, and harp, in three movements

I. Prelude

II. Sarabande

III. Estampie

This piece was premiered in Eugene, Oregon, in January of 1996.

Show Recordings

Piano Sonata No. 1  (1993‑94)

in three movements; arranged for wind ensemble as “Three Sketches on Jonathan”

I. Whirling Dervish

II. Night Sighs

III. Mischief

This work was inspired by my son when he was a toddler. It was also inspired by my love of the music of Ravel. It has a number of impressionist strands and requires virtuosic skill to perform it satisfactorily. It was premiered in Eugene, Oregon.

String Quartet No. 1  (1992-93)

in three movements

I. Moderato

II. Adagio

III. Allegro

This piece was premiered in Eugene, Oregon. It is tonal, lyrical, and quite expressive.

Fanfare and Prelude  (1992)

for trumpet and organ

I wrote this piece for myself and the organist at my former parish church. We premiered it at an Easter Vigil service. I also performed it again in Eugene, Oregon. It is rhythmic, tonal, and stately.  

Two‑Part Invention  (1992)

for violin and cello

The opening of this piece was written during a faculty meeting in which my mind was starting to drift. It is energetic, tonal, and, perhaps, a bit too Bach-like; but, I keep it in my oeuvre because it is so much fun. It awaits its premiere.

Chamber Vocal

Song of Songs  (2011-2012)

six songs for soprano, tenor, and piano, text adapted from the Bible by Bernard Scherr

I. Salutations

II. The Search

III. Admiration

IV. The Dream

V. The Journey

VI. Love

This set of six songs was commissioned by Dr. Chris Hollingsworth, Director of Opera, Hardin-Simmons University. He wanted a set of songs based on the Song of Songs from the Old Testament that he and his wife, Rosie, could sing together. His only requirement was that the set include the verse: “Place me as a seal over your heart”. I developed a narrative from various parts of the book and then formed coherent lyrics from this narrative. There are a number of instances in which the text is quite intimate; but, this is wholly appropriate given that this performers are married and in love!

Three Psalms  (2005)

for soprano, mezzo soprano and piano

I. Psalm 6

II. Psalm 121

III. Psalm 93

These were commissioned by Dr. Lynnette Chambers, Professor of Voice at Hardin-Simmons University, and Dr. Kecia Ashford, former Associate Professor of Voice at Hardin-Simmons University. The set has been performed on numerous occasions by Dr. Chambers and Dr. Melody Rich, Assistant Professor of Voice, Hardin-Simmons University. 

Show Recordings

Life’s Immortalities  (2002-2003)

for mezzo soprano and piano, texts by Robert Browning, in two movements

I. Fame

II. Love

This set was commissioned by Dr. Jayne Middleton, Professor of Voice at Hardin-Simmons University.

Six Songs  (1995-99)

for soprano and piano

I. Ring Out, Wild Bells (1995 96) for sop. and piano, text by Alfred Tennyson

II. I Like To See It Lap The Miles (1996) for sop. and piano, text by Emily Dickinson

III. Because I Could Not Stop For Death (1997) for sop. and piano, text by Emily Dickinson

IV. Sweet and Low (1998) for sop. and piano, text by Alfred Tennyson

V. Home They Brought Her Warrior Dead (1998) for sop. and piano, text by Alfred  Tennyson

VI. Hope (1999) for sop. and piano, text by Emily Dickinson

These songs were premiered in two different locations by Lorri Frogget and Sandy Holder. Three songs were premiered in Washington, and three were premiered in Oregon.

Show Recordings

Life Moves In Delicate Ripples  (1987)

for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, Bb trumpet, soprano, and strings, text by Ulrich Schaffer

This piece was premiered at Hardin-Simmons University.

Think of You  (1985)

for flute, oboe, soprano, and piano, text by Bernard Scherr

This piece was commissioned by Beth and Joel Nunes on the occasion of their wedding.

Choral

I Know the Plans I Have for You  (2019)

SSAATTBB and piano 4-hands

Dedicated to Lynette Chambers, Lauren and Mark Puckett, and Clell Wright

Text Jeremiah 29:11-4, adapted by Bernie Scherr

Psalm 148  (2016)  3:15

for SATB chorus and organ

To My Dear and Loving Husband  (2014)

for SATB chorus and piano

Commissioned by the Abilene Chamber Singers.

By Night When Others Soundly Slept  (2014)

for SATB chorus and piano

Commissioned by the Abilene Chamber Singers.

Daybreak  (2013)

for SATB chorus, brass quintet, and organ

Commissioned by the Abilene Classical Chorus.

There Came A Wind  (2012)

for SATB chorus, brass quintet, and organ

Commissioned by the Abilene Classical Chorus.

Cancioneiro Minhoto  (2011)

SATB choir, guitar and double bass in five movements

I. Ana Mariana

II. Conde Albano

III. Berde Gaio

IV. Rosa, a pastorinha

V. Ciranda

These Portuguese folksong settings were commissioned and performed by Dr. Clell Wright, Director of Choral Activities at Hardin-Simmons University.

Show Recordings

The Lord is My Shepherd  (2010)

SATB and organ, Psalm 23

This piece was commissioned by the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Abilene, Texas, in honor of the retirement of Conrad Bratton, their long-time music director.

Today A Savior Has Been Born  (2003)

SATB, Luke 2:11-14

Arranged for orchestra and chorus as “The Gloria” as part of “Scenes from the Nativity.” This piece was commissioned by Dr. Loyd Hawthorne, former conductor of the Hardin-Simmons University Concert Choir.

Agnus Dei  (2001)

for SATB chorus, English horn, and cello

This piece was recognized in the Waging Peace through Singing Project in Oregon.

The Spirit of Our God Rests in Christ Jesus  (1999)

SATB, assembly, text based on Isaiah 61

This piece was commissioned by St. Thomas More Newman Center in Eugene, Oregon.

Six Songs on Rose Texts  (1995-98)

for SATB choir

I. Roses (1995), SATB, text by Louise Chandler Moulton

II. Nobody Knows This Little Rose (1995), SATB, text by Emily Dickinson

III. A White Rose (1998), SATB, text by John Boyle O’Reilly

IV. Fifty‑fourth Sonnet (1998), SATB, text by William Shakespeare

V. The Last Rose of Summer (1998), SATB, text by Thomas Moore

VI. A Single Rose (1998), SATB, text by Rainer Maria Rilke

Several of these pieces were premiered by the University of Oregon Chamber Choir. Several others will see their premiere this spring by the Hardin-Simmons University Concert Choir.

 

 

Sweetest of Sweets  (1996)

SATB, text by George Herbert

This piece was commissioned by Dennis Davenport, former director of the Adult Choir, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Eugene, Oregon.

God, Father  (1993‑94)

SATB, text by Bernard Scherr

This piece was premiered by the University of Oregon Chamber Choir under the direction of Kathryn Olson.

Psalm 22  (1991)

SATB and organ, text adapted by Bernard Scherr

Orchestra

Essay for Orchestra  (2018)

2222,4331, timp., cym., sd, bd, tam-tam, strings

I. Formal

II. Informal

This work is based on a single theme, but approached from two different perspectives.

This Is My Father’s World  (2015)  3:05

2 Flutes, Oboe, 2 Bb Clarinets, 2 F Horns, 3 Bb Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Cymbals, SATB Chorus, and Strings.

This piece was commissioned by Trina Fink in honor of her father, T.W. Dean, whose choral arrangement I preserved and expanded in this orchestration.  The instrumentation is that of FBC Abilene, Texas.

Immortal Love, Forever Full  (2015)  2:34

2 Flutes, Oboe, 2 Bb Clarinets, 2 F Horns, 3 Bb Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Cymbals, SATB Chorus, and Strings.

This piece was commissioned by Trina Fink in honor of her father, T.W. Dean, whose choral arrangement I preserved and expanded in this orchestration.  The instrumentation is that of FBC Abilene, Texas.

My Lord, What a Mornin’  (2014)  3'00''

2 Flutes, Oboe, 2 Bb Clarinets, 2 F Horns, 3 Bb Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Cymbals, SATB Chorus, and Strings.

This piece was commissioned by Trina Fink in honor of her father, T.W. Dean, whose choral arrangement I preserved and expanded in this orchestration.  The instrumentation is that of FBC Abilene, Texas.

How Firm a Foundation  (2014)  3:25

2 Flutes, Oboe, 2 Bb Clarinets, 2 F Horns, 3 Bb Trumpets, 2 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Cymbals, SATB Chorus, and Strings.

This piece was commissioned by Trina Fink in honor of her father, T.W. Dean, whose choral arrangement I preserved and expanded in this orchestration.  The instrumentation is that of FBC Abilene, Texas.

Trumpet Rhapsody  (2013)  @13'05"

3 flutes (3. piccolo), 2 oboes, 2 Bb clarinets, Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 F horns, 3 C trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, tom-toms, tam-tam, crash cymbals, suspended cymbal, triangle, xylophone, solo trumpet, and strings

Psalm 139  (2009)  @6'30"

for orchestra and chorus (2 flutes, 2 oboes, 3 Bb clarinets, Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, [2 alto saxophones, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone], 3 Bb trumpets, 4 horns, 2 trombones, bass trombone, [euphonium], tuba, timpani, cymbals, SATB chorus, strings)

This work was commissioned by Hardin-Simmons University for the inauguration of its president, Dr. Lanny Hall. It is tonally accessible and engagingly rhythmic with mixed-meter passages. It is a refrain-verse design and would work well in a liturgical setting. The saxophone parts are optional and were included in the original score because members of both the concert band and orchestra were part of the premiere performance. It was recently recorded by the Hardin-Simmons University Orchestra and combined University Chorale and Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Clell Wright at FBC Abilene, with Bernie Scherr as sound engineer.

Prelude to a Fair  (2009)  @10'15"

for orchestra (2 flutes-2nd piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 A clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 C trumpets, 2 trombones, euphonium, tuba, timpani, percussion, glockenspiel, strings)

This piece was begun in 1986 but not completed until 2009. It reflects my early compositional style which was quite tonal. The piece is a tone poem about my childhood experiences of going to the county fair. Its themes evoke images of my favorite animals, rides, games, and foods. It is dedicated to the Tulare County Fair (California). The piece was premiered by the Hardin-Simmons University Orchestra under the direction of Bernie Scherr.

Scenes from the Nativity  (2008)  @23':25"

for orchestra and chorus in 6 movements (2 flutes-2nd piccolo, 2 oboes, 2 Bb clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 C trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, percussion, SATB chorus, glockenspiel, strings)

I. The Annunciation

II. The Visitation

III. The Magnificat

IV. The Canticle of Zechariah

V. The Gloria

VI. The Canticle of Simeon

This set began as a single-movement commission from Dr. Loyd Hawthorne, former director of the Hardin-Simmons University Concert Choir. A few years after The Gloria was premiered (the original title was “Today a Savior is Born”), Dr. Clell Wright, the new director of the same group commissioned a second, single-movement piece, The Annunciation. Following its premiere, I decided to complete the set on the biblical infancy narratives of Jesus. These pieces vividly evoke the Gospel scenes. There is a piano reduction of the orchestra part for conventional choral performances.

Organ Symphony  (2005)  @22'00"

for organ and orchestra in four movements (2 flutes-2nd piccolo, 2 oboes-2nd English horn, 2 Bb clarinets-2nd Bb bass clarinet, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 C trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, euphonium, tuba, timpani, cymbals, mallets, harp, organ, strings)

I. Chaconne

II. Chorale prelude

III. Air

IV. Fugue

This piece was commissioned by Dr. David Andre, former conductor of the Tulare County Symphony. It was premiered in 2006. It is a homage to the great organ literature of the 18th century. The titles indicate the contrapuntal nature of the work and also suggest its tonal harmony.

Piano Concerto  (2004)

in three movements

I. Energetically

II. Grave

III. Molto Allegro

This piece is dedicated to João Bettencourt da Câmara, a young Portuguese pianist of rising international fame. The piece is highly rhythmic and contrapuntal. The outer, fast movements are energetic and lyrical; but, the slow, second movement is somewhat dark and foreboding because it was inspired by the anguish I saw in the lives of our dear friends as they suffered a terrible and tragic loss.

Fall Dances  (2003)

for string orchestra

This piece was premiered by the Hardin-Simmons University Orchestra under the direction of Bernie Scherr.

Three Songs on texts by Walt McDonald  (2003)

for baritone and orchestra

I. Where the Trees Go

II. Where Heaven Starts

III. Settling the Plains

Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra  (2002)

Though completely based on octatonic scales, the listener will readily detect a number of jazz influences. I wrote this piece for “fun” and it awaits its premiere.

Beach Spring Variations  (2002)

Based on the hymn tune of the same name from the Sacred Harp. This piece was premiered by the Hardin-Simmons University Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Peter Isaacson.

Four Orchestral Chants

I. Victimae Paschali Laudes (1995) – based on an Easter sequence

II. Crux Fidelis (1999) – based on a Good Friday plainsong and the Stabat Mater

III. Ubi Caritas (1999) – based on a Holy Thursday plainsong

IV. Veni Creator Spiritus (2000) – based on a Pentecost plainsong

The ideal setting for the set is to be performed in a large church. The orchestra would be at the altar area and a choir would be at a distance, perhaps in the choir loft or in the transepts. The choir would sing the chant first and the orchestra would respond. Victimae Paschali Laudes, Ubi Caritas, and Veni Creator Spiritus have been performed, but the set as a whole awaits its premiere.

Show Recordings

Psalm Symphony  (1998)

for orchestra and SATB chorus with soloists in five movements

I. Out of the Deep

II. Rescue Me

III. Yahweh Hears the Desire of the Poor

IV. I Love You, Yahweh

V. Bless Yahweh

The text is based on a compilation of psalm verses that are organized into a single, new psalm. This piece was read by the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bernie Scherr.

The Dread of Falling into Naught  (1996)

for orchestra and baritone

The text adapted from the poem of the same name by Wilfred Owen.

Death or Arms  (1995)

for orchestra and soprano

The text is by Lizet Diaz Perez. This piece was read by the University of Oregon Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Dr. Wayne Bennett.

Serenade for Orchestra  (1988, rev. 1998)

in three movements

I. Andante, piu mosso

II. Allegro

III. Allegro moderato

This piece is dedicated to my wife, Donna. The origional version was premiered by the UCLA Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bernie Scherr. The revised version was premiered by the Abilene Collegiate Orchestra under the direction of Bernie Scherr.

Immigrant’s Vision  (1987-88, rev. 1998)

This piece is one of my earliest that I include in my oeuvre. It is a tone poem that chronicles my grandfather’s journey from the Azore Islands to America. A friend of mine commented after its premiere that “it was good movie music”. The original version was premiered by the UCLA Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Bernie Scherr and was later performed by the Tulare County Symphony under the direction of Dr. David Andre. The revised version awaits its premiere.