Call for Scores Winners
Michael Gaydeski began his first serious compositional efforts while pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in music and computer science. Since then, he has written a diverse set of works, spanning a variety of ensembles and both musical and non-musical influences. Several of his recent works have received accolades, including his choral work, “Dreams in the Dusk,” which was selected as the winner of Chorus Austin’s 3rd Annual Young Composers Competition, and “Power Slide,” which received first prize in the Richard Myers Memorial Trombone Trio Competition Contest. Currently, Michael resides in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and he is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
Anubis (Greek for Anpu) is the ancient Egyptian god of mummification. He is generally depicted as a jackal, and rarely as a man with a jackal’s head. Early in Egyptian history, Anubis was the god of the dead, but he was usurped by Osiris by the age of the Middle Kingdom in Egyptian history. His role in later mythology was as protector of the dead, who assisted Osiris in the judgment of the souls of the dead. Belief in Anubis gave people the assurance that their body would be respected in death, their soul protected in the afterlife, and that they would receive fair judgment for their life’s work. He was also patron of lost souls, especially orphans. This guaranteed his popularity and endurance. In mythology, Anubis performed the first mummification on Osiris, after he was murdered by Set, his brother. Osiris was able to come back to life. Because black was associated with fertility and rebirth in the afterlife, Anubis has black fur, rather than the brown fur real jackals possess.
Leon Steward (b. 1959) Attended Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas, where he earned a BS in Music Theory & Composition 1981, and a MM in 1988. He has taught band in Texas since 1981, and resides in Hondo, Texas where he teaches High School band and Jazz ensemble.
Mr. Steward has also taught at West Hardin CCISD, Orangefield HS, and Bridge City HS. He is a professional horn player who has performed with the SE Texas Reading Band, The Houston Symphonic Band, The Symphony of SE Texas, The Regal Brass, And the West Winds WW Quintet. He is the owner of Echelon Music press, specializing in band and orchestral publications.
Leon was awarded the Butler County Symphony Composition Contest for his work “ The Fermi Paradox”, Was runner-up in the Humbolt University (Calif.) composition contest for “The Invasion of America” for Brass sextet. Was a finalist in the Sul Ross University Concert Band Composition Contest with “All Hail The Walrus” and has been a finalist three times in the ATSSB Concert Band Composition Contest. His compositional influences include: Clifton Williams, Francis McBeth, Don Ellis and Frank Zappa. This is the third straight year one of his works has been selected by the band.
The year was 1825 and a most unpleasant Adolphe Saxe created an instrument that has been a bane to our society even more lecherous than the cell phone. We are speaking of the saxophone. Ironically, in that same year a man known as Barron von Oglethorpe from the lesser known “Brown Forest” region of what is now northeastern Germany, was steadily climbing the royal ladder due to deaths of other royal family. Von Oglethorpe who was known as “Chester” by close friends had just divorced his 3rd wife. This work was inspired by the imminent nuptials of Barron von Oglethorpe and his soon to be 4th bride, Hildegarde van Muenster, who had very recently annulled her marriage from her then second cousin on her late step mothers side of the family.
The music was to bring joy and at least background noise to the proceedings. A dance for all ages. A song to be sung by no man.
Ron Graves began playing piano and cornet in junior high school. He soon discovered the baritone and euphonium, which became his primary instrument in high school in Odessa and later at West Texas State University. After a career in the oil and gas industry, Ron returned to school at Sam Houston State University and received a music degree in Composition. He currently plays euphonium with several organizations and enjoys writing music for concert band and small ensembles. This is the third year in a row the band has selected one of his works.
“Crossings” was written specifically for the Cypress Symphonic Band for their 2016-2017 theme of “Around the World in 80 Minutes.” We will leave port on an ocean voyage and visit different continents and countries with a short “traveling” section between each one, foretelling the next location. The final flourish reviews all the location themes previously explored.
Allen Molineux (b.1950) received a B.M. degree from DePauw University, a M.M. in composition degree from the Eastman School of Music and a D.M. in composition from Florida State University where his teachers were, respectively, Donald H. White, Warren Benson and John Boda. In addition, he attended the Lukas Foss Workshop at Indiana University in 1981, Gunther Schuller’s 1986 Atlantic Center for the Arts Workshop and Pierre Boulez’s Carnegie Hall Workshop in 1999.
His brass sextet “Seven Shorties” was awarded the 2014 Grand Prize for the Humboldt State University Brass Chamber Music Workshop Composition Contest. His orchestral work “Triﬂes” was one of four pieces for the New Music Reading Session of the Alabama Symphony (May 2015), premiered by the Oklahoma Composer Orchestra (Jan. 2016) and received its second performance by the Friends University Community Orchestra (Feb. 2016). It has just been released on the ABLAZE Records label.
The genesis of this work came from the composer’s composition for trumpet and piano called “Dysfunctional Dances.” The central movement, a “Half-baked Habanera”, needed a lively contrasting middle section, so he wrote a brief Merengue tune (the merengue is a popular dance from the Caribbean, especially the Dominican Republic) that not only was unstable harmonically, but also unable to do anything other than repeat itself (with some embellishment) in a few other keys before disintegrating back to the habanera. Now what possessed him to take that short, highly limited, silly tune and create a band work out of it, is just one example of the madness to which the title refers. The remainder of its madness comes through the kaleidoscopic approach to how it and the other tunes appear and the never ending series of instrumental scoring changes. Together they create a mild case of zaniness which only dissipates once the concluding section, which has the two primary tunes played against each other in the major mode, is reached.
Arthur J. Michaels earned a bachelor of music degree in music education from the Eastman School of Music and a master of arts degree in teaching from Teachers College, Columbia University. He has taught instrumental music in grades 4 through 12 in New York and in New Jersey. His published works include music for concert band, string orchestra, instrumental ensembles, and choruses. He is a member of the National Association for Music Education, the Florida Music Educators Association, and ASCAP.
“Milonga Ornamental” pays tribute to Milonga, a musical style that began in the Rio de la Plata region of Argentina and Uruguay, and dates from around the 1870’s. One characteristic of a milonga is the rhythmic motif, a 3+3+2 rhythm, which pervades “Milonga Ornamental.” Another quality of a milonga is the “answering” of words and phrases, a characteristic of the “payada de contrapunto” singing style from which milonga developed. The “payadores,” with their guitar accompaniment, would “answer” each other’s lyrics, improvising in a kind of friendly one-upsmanship-like contest. That characteristic appears throughout this piece not in lyrics, but in different combinations of band sections “answering” one another in exchanges of four and eight measure phrases. The word “milonga,” from Brazilian and African origins, means “words.” The title’s “ornamental” describes the piece’s melodic embellishments, mainly sixteenth note triplet turns and grace notes.
Dr. Ray Braswell received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He has been a conductor as well as a choir director since graduating from ASU. He completed his doctorate in education from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. His band, choral and orchestral compositions have been performed across the US, the UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. He describes his musical style as contemporary romanticism, with melodic passages combined with accessible harmonies.
The Tree in the Wood
Four Appalachian folk songs make up this piece: “The Tree in the Wood”, “Soldier, Won’t You Marry Me?”, “Shooting of His Dear,” and “The Drummer and His Wife.” These folk songs were often used to tell stories and were passed along from generation to generation. They allow the singer/storyteller to express great emotions in a simple form which can then be shared with others. The folk songs here are used as a basis for a lyrical composition and allow the listener to share in their simple beauty and spirit.
Robert J. Coe is an award winning, internationally recognized composer of contemporary classical music. His works have been performed by the Videri String Quartet (Boston), the Hobart Wind Symphony (Tasmania, Australia), the Phoenix Quartet (Ukraine), and the Denali Music Festival String Orchestra (Alaska). Coe has been an artist in residence at numerous national parks in Australia and the United States, including Big Bend National Park, New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park, and Cradle Mountain National Park. Additionally, the piece composed for Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park was awarded First Prize in the Bruno Maderna International Composition Competition in Lviv, Ukraine. Coe studied with Dr. Stephen Lias and Dr. Charles Halka at Stephen F. Austin State University, and he is now pursuing graduate studies at the University of Houston. Additional music and information can be found at robertcoe.com.
Tasmania, an island off the southern coast of Australia, is home to three national parks: Maria Island National Park, Cradle Mountain National Park, and Freycinet National Park. The beauty of the rugged untamed wilderness, and the natural ability of wind band instruments to capture the wild and vibrant aspects of nature, have inspired the composer to celebrate Tasmania’s commitment to protecting its natural heritage, and gives us a glimpse of some of the last true wilderness left in the Southern Hemisphere.