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Topic: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

  1. #1

    New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    http://www.box.net/shared/ky02m9gcgk, 6:25, 8.8Mb

    This will be premiered at an in-the-park concert in a couple weeks.

    "Excelsior" is a Latin term meaning "higher" or "onward" (it's also some kind of weird packing material, but I wasn't exactly going for that ). And, not coincidentally, Excelsior is the name of the city/park where this will first be presented.

    The sequencing was done with Overture notation and the original thin and crispy version of GPO (v1.2) with the Ambience reverb. No EQ or any other effect was applied.

    The form is roughly ABA with a couple of twists and a whole lot of modulations along the way.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    Hello, I enjoyed this spirited romp so much I listened to it twice. I like what you have done with this! I'm not at all knowledgeable about this genre, but you have created an always interesting piece that fits the title well. Hopeful some of our members can give you some better feedback, but from my "average Joe" vantage, very well done! Best of luck with the upcoming performance, John

  3. #3

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    Nice work, Darwin! I think the "packing material" fits, as you've packed this full of creativity and musicality. I especially liked your very regal middle section. Too many modulations and twists can be taxing to the ear, but you've melded them seamlessly and pleasingly throughout. Really nice horn writing, idiomatic and appropriately dramatic. I enjoyed this very much... thanks for posting it! (And congrats in advance on what is sure to be a successful premiere!)


  4. #4

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    Hi John,

    Glad you liked this well enough to give it a second spin. At rehearsal, the musicians seem to like it, so hopefully the performance will go well. (We can sequence stuff all day without concern, but getting actual musicians fired up seems to be half the battle when going acoustic ).

    Hello Danny,

    I think I like the middle section the best, sort of like the jewel set between the outer sections. "Regal" never actually occurred to me, though I would agree. The tempo indications say "Stately" then later on "Noble", though regal is actually more apt, I think.

    Good to read you find the modulations smooth. They sound smooth to me as well in this recording, but oddly enough, when I participate in the performance, some of them sound quite a bit more jarring. I'm not sure why that is, maybe the difference between canned tempered tuning and an actual orchestral performance. Weird.

    I'm especially happy you like the horn parts (I assume you play horn?), as I gave careful attention to them throughout. This is pretty much a brass feature and the horns have an important role. Unfortunately, even though I've written four parts, so far at rehearsal we've only fielded three, so I'm hoping the fourth shows up, at least for the performance(!).

  5. #5

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    Darwin - that is going to be a real crowd pleaser at the summer concert. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  6. #6

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior


    The Excelsior is one of the Star Trek Space Ships...not a park...just kidding of course.

    I am sure that this will be a hit out of the Park as well as in the Park.

    Well done


  7. #7

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior


    I think this will be a REAL crowd pleaser. A very well
    written march. Wish I could hear it "live."

    Jack Cannon--MacBook Pro (2015, 13") GPO4/5, JABB3, Auth. STEINWAY, YAMAHA CFX, Gofriller CELLO, Stradivari VIOLIN, COMB2, WORLD, HARPS, PIPE ORGANS, FINALE 25.5, DORICO 1.2.10, Mac Pro 2.66 GHz CPU, 8 GB RAM, DP 9.51, MOTU Traveler, MOTU Micro Express, MacBook Pro (2012, 13") 2.2 Ghz CPU, 8 GB RAM.

  8. #8

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    Hi raweber,

    I do hope the audience finds it enjoyable. The piece composed for this event last year came off quite well, but was of an entirely different character and maybe a little out of step with the rest of the program. This piece is much more typical of the programming for this venue.

    Howdy Ron,

    Oddly enough, I was torn between naming this either Excelsior or Kobayashi Maru, but feared I'd lose the audience on that one....just kidding. However, this being a park, there is a baseball diamond right next to the stage. Unfortunately, foul balls to left field often end up in the lake.

    Hello Jack,

    Casual summer park audiences seem to like marches well enough, at least they aren't immediately alienated by them, though I did try to be a little more adventurous than expected, especially with the harmony and key scheme. If any little kids present suddenly start marching back and forth, I'll know for sure it's a hit!

  9. #9

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    First, congratulations on the premier, Darwin!

    As for the piece, the audience is in for a great ride
    with this one -- very, very well done... with impressive
    management of the tonality in it: just enough adventure
    to make it genuinely interesting; yet always on course,
    so the ear is never brought too far afield.

    I'd wish you good luck at the performance, my friend,
    but none is needed -- strong work like this will
    inevitably earn the appreciation of your audience.

    Let us know how it goes!

    All my best,


  10. #10

    Re: New work for summer concert: March Excelsior

    Hi David,

    Nice to hear from you! It's always a question of how edgy to make the harmony, so I'm glad you find enough there to be of interest. I'll let you know how the performances go. The only thing that could possibly have any kind of negative impact are wind, rain, heat, cold, humidity, mosquitoes, or sun in the eyes.

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