Off to war, lads for euphonium and brass quintet (2014)
Written for Ryan Schultz and the University of Delaware Graduate Brass Quintet.
Semi-finalist and Honorable Mention recipient for the 2015 American Prize in Composition, Student Chamber Music Division.
When Ryan Schultz asked me to write a piece for his degree recital, together we envisioned a fanfare that showcased the technical and lyrical abilities of the euphonium, which is a vastly underrated wind instrument.
At the time, I despised the idea of writing absolute music (and, to an extent, I still do), so I furrowed my brow and thought long and hard about what this piece might mean outside the immediate context of the concert hall. The unrelenting brightness of the piece, combined with its many strong and simple musical statements, led me to associate it with the promises of glory that politicians use in order to rally the public in times of war, promises that soon prove empty when people are sent off to war; to either die for their country, or come back permanently scarred.
(Program updated June 2019)