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.