It’s been a while since I’ve posted music here, but I just finished this and want some thoughts… Here’s the story:
So, I got to play with the Yankee Brass Band this past summer as a humble drummer amongst the “brassers”… It was a great experience playing on an 1830’s bass drum (that had actually been to the Civil War) and hearing Coronets, Alto horns, Tenor Horns, and tubas from the 1860’s and that era. During the concerts, there was a piece performed by a brass sextet and I feel in love with the sound. It was also explained during the concerts how brass bands were part of Regiments during the American Civil War and played as the troops marched into battle, and, for many, into certain death.
I thought this was fascinating and was inspired to work on this piece using a brass sextet playing some of the old pieces played by civil war brass bands and juxtapose it against a “modern orchestra”. Based on this concept, it is entitled “Walk Through The Valley”.
The piece opens with a variation of “Dixie”, followed by a piece as performed by the Manchester Brass Band of New Hampshire called “Wake Up Mose”. This goes briefly into “Tenting Tonight On the Old Campground” and moves quickly into the beautiful Civil War Era Ballad “Thou Art Gone From My Gaze”. From there the piece goes into and finishes with Henry Clay Works’ “Kingdom Coming / The Year of Jubilo”. I tried to stick as close to original style for the sextet, but the orchestra, is more 20th Century (I think).
For this piece, I envision the brass sextet out in front of the Orchestra, and wow – taking away any intonation issues, wouldn’t it be nice to actually have it performed with REAL period instruments (Eb Coronet, Bb Coronet, Alto Horns, Tenor Horn and Tuba). Currently, the sextet is scored for 2 Trumpets, 2 French Horns, Baritone (can’t WAIT for GPOA!) and Tuba. The piece is all GPO and Overture 4 and uses Garritan Ambience for reverb.
It is a bit lengthy at around 7:32, but if you find time, please give it a listen and help me with any ideas on mix / sound, should it be a Suite instead of an Overture to better expand on the variations?, etc. It would be greatly appreciated.