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Brass Works

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  • Helios (2011) 4’30” • 2 tpts/flugelhorns, hn, tbn, tba


    Excerpt performed by Gaudete Brass Quintet
    Chicago Moves, Cedille Records CDR 90000 136
    Available from
    Cedille Records
    Used by permission. All rights reserved.
    Purchase recording
    Commissioned by Gaudete Brass Quintet

    Theodore Presser Company
    114-41587 • $32.99 • full score and set of parts • click to order
    114-41587M • $19.99 • set of parts • click to order
    114-41587S • $15.99 • full score • click to order
    PR.114415870 • $32.99 • full score and set of parts • click to order
    PR.11441587M • $19.99 • set of parts • click to order
    PR.11441587S • $15.99 • full score • click to order

    In Greek mythology, Helios was the god of the sun. His head wreathed in light, he daily drove a chariot drawn by four horses (in some tales, the horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire) across the sky. At the end of each day’s journey, he slept in a golden boat that carried him on the Okeanos River (a fresh water stream that encircled the flat earth) back to his rising place. The cyclic journey of Helios is depicted in this short work for brass quintet. The first half is fast-paced and very energetic, while the second half is slow and serene, representing day and night.

  • Legends of Olympus (2016) 24’ • 2 tpts/flugelhorns, hn, tbn, tba
    Gaudete Brass Quintet has sole recording rights until 6/15/18 for movements 2-4; for movement 5, they have exclusive performance rights until 3/11/19 and sole recording rights until 9/11/19.


    I. Helios
    II. Aphrodite
    III. Hermes
    IV. Apollo
    V. Dionysus

    In ancient Greek mythology, Mount Olympus is the dwelling place of the gods and goddesses. Legends of Olympus depicts five of these deities.

    Helios is the god of the sun. His head is wreathed in light, and he drives a chariot drawn by four horses across the sky each day. In some tales, these horses are winged; in others, they are made of fire. At the end of each day’s journey, Helios sleeps in a golden boat that carries him on the Okeanos, a freshwater river that encircles the flat earth. Before dawn, the boat brings him back to his palace on Mount Olympus to collect his horses and chariot. Then he starts the journey again.

    Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, was born from the sea and brought ashore on a wave of foam. She carries herself with the regal bearing of a queen. Each year, her beauty is replenished when she dives into the sea once more.

    Hermes was a merry and mischievous young god with a sharp wit. Zeus, his father, designated Hermes as the messenger between the inhabitants of Olympus and the people on earth. Hermes goes about his errands wearing golden shoes and cap, both adorned by a pair of wings.

    Apollo is the god of music. His brother, Hermes, once played a trick on him by stealing all of Apollo’s cows. To appease Apollo’s anger, Hermes crafted a golden lyre. Apollo was so entranced with this stringed instrument that he traded his entire herd of cows to Hermes for it. In this movement, we hear Apollo picking up his lyre for the first time and strumming it. The brass quintet serves as the lyre, working together to represent the instrument.

    Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, wine, and revelry. He carries a pine-cone tipped staff and wears a crown of ivy leaves. He spends his time teaching mortals the craft of growing grapes and making wine. In this movement, Dionysus arrives at a party bearing wine. The party gets more and more frenzied as the partiers drink and dance the night away.

    Gaudete Brass Quintet originally commissioned Helios in 2011, and subsequently commissioned the rest of the piece.


  • Sanskara (1991) 4’15” • horn (solo)

    Inkjar Publishing Company
    Click here to email Inkjar Publishing Company

    Sanskara is a short horn solo written in a romantic style.

  • Stormy, Husky, Brawling (2016) 6’30” • bass tbn (solo)
    Sun He has sole recording rights until 2/15/19.

    Stormy, Husky, Brawling takes its name from the 4th line of the poem Chicago, written by the American poet Carl Sandburg. Penned in 1916, the city of Chicago served as the heart of the meatpacking and railroad industries. The poem’s lines mingle the dark underbelly of the city (“And they tell me you are brutal and my reply is: On the faces of women and children I have seen the marks of wanton hunger”) with immense pride felt by its inhabitants (“Come and show me another city with lifted head singing so proud to be alive and course and strong and cunning”). As a Chicagoan myself, I find much of Sandburg’s unabashed view of the city very appealing and still relevant over a hundred years later, even though the city’s industries have transformed.

    When bass trombonist Sun He commissioned me for a solo trombone piece, he mentioned his deep love for Chicago. He wrote to me in an email: “I remember the first time I walked on the street in Chicago, by the corner of Michigan and Roosevelt, and how I felt the energy of this city almost bring my blood to a boil... I have just so many emotional strings attached to Chicago. Every time I come here, it feels like going home.” Upon reading his words, I knew I had to write a piece that conveyed the beating pulse of the city, as well as its grandeur. Carl Sandburg’s poem became the perfect inspiration to tell the story of the pride Sun He and I have for Chicago.

    Sun He has dedicated Stormy, Husky, Brawling to Jane Addams and the Hull House of Chicago. Ms. Addams (1860-1935) was a distinguished sociologist, social worker, philosopher, and author, who opened the Hull House in 1889. She provided many services to immigrant families at the Hull House, including kindergarten, day care, an employment bureau, and classes in English, citizenship, music, theater, and the arts. Jane Addams believed in living by example, stating, “Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.” She remains a symbol of the American spirit and modern humanity.

  • The Trumpets at Jericho (2012) 5’30” • 2 tpts, pno Enter description here.
    Commissioned by the Chicago Chamber Musicians

    Theodore Presser Company

    When the Chicago Chamber Musicians commissioned me to write a new work for trumpeters Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer, Barbara and Charlie told me about several historical and fictional stories that involved trumpets. One that vividly captured my imagination was the battle of Jericho. In this biblical story, the Israelites cross the Jordan River in their pursuit of the conquest of Canaan; Jericho was the first city in their path. As instructed by God, the Israelites circled the city’s walls once a day for six days, led by blaring trumpets. The Trumpets at Jericho traces the Israelites’ activities on the seventh day, in which they circle the walls seven times and triumphantly bring down the walls amidst trumpet blasts. The piece ends with the trumpets paying tribute to Jericho’s dead.