Call for Scores Winners
Kelly Bennette – Flight to Olympus
Kelly Benette was born in Port Arthur, Texas and grew up in the neighboring city of Groves. He is a 1989 graduate of Lamar University in Beaumont with a BS in Music Education. Mr Bennette taught the Lamar B jazz band for three years and taught band, choir and elementary music in public schools for twenty eight years before retiring in 2017. He is former tunist with the Lamara Faculty Brass Quintet and the Beaumont Symphony Orchestra. He is currently principal tubist with the East Texas Symphonic Band as well as tubist with the Tyler Community Band. He is a regular performer with the National Community Band, the ACB Convention Band, the Windjammers Circus Band and he is bass guitarist for the classic rock band, Down Home. Mr Bennette’s musical compositions include 80 marches, dozens of concert band works as well as music for choir and orchestra.
This is Kelly’s first year to enter our Call for Scores competition and he’s left his footprints (and they are big. -ed.) with two winners. From the beginning brass fanfare to the exciting runs in the woodwinds to the mystical themes that are in this piece. Flight to Olympus brings you on a magical journey to the mythical palace of the gods. This is a challenging piece written for the modern concert band.
Brian Morales – To the Moon and Back
Brian Morales is a New York-based composer and conductor noted for his semi-anachronistic style, experimental instrumentation and crisp sonic textures. He was nominated for an Olivier Award in 2012 for his orchestrations in London’s West-end production of The Color Purple. His music and arrangements have been performed I Carnegie Hall as well as other notable venues such as Meng Concert Gall and even the Whiskey. Originally from California, he has participated in both concert and commercial fields; composing orchestral works, scoring live and electronic film music, producing orchestrations for theatrical productions and leading new music ensembles in world premieres.
Brian won the 2018 EQT Young Composer Contest where his orchestral piece Arrivals was premiered by the Pittsburgh Philharmonic. Other recent works include Concepts Confused (for Soprano, Tenor Sax and Upright Bass), produced by the Creating Higher Ground Festival in collaboration with mixed media artist, Laura Miller; Autumn Chrysalis (for violin, violincello, clarinet, pipa and yangqun) programmed by the Sforzando Collective; and Kyrie (for SATB) fr om his Missa Brevis.
This is Brian’s first year to enter our Call for Scores competition and this work exemplifies our standards. Ethereal and quiet at the beginning, it quickly builds to an active middle, with a wild and thrashing denouement. This piece is an outstanding example of a tone poem describing man’s first lunar landing from lift-off to splashdown.
Juan L. Roig – Sinfonietta
Juan is a composer of Concert and Audio-visual media from Castellon, Spain. He received a Bachelor degree in trombone at the Conservatory of Music and Master degree in Composition for Soundtracks and music for Audio-visual Media at ESMUC in Barcelona.
In 2012 and 2013 he received a scholarship for a workshop in Composition and Arranging for Symphonic Bands at Berklee College of Music, Valencia campus.
Recent works were performed in the International Trombone Festival 2017 in the University of Redlands, California, Concours de Trombone Antonine Courtois 2017 in Conservatoire de Reims, France and II ‘Concurso de la Asocicion de Trombonistas Espanoles’ ATE in 2016, Symphonic Band Contest in Castellon and Alicante, Spain in 2018.
A sinfonietta is a symphony that is smaller in scale or lighter in approach than a standard symphony. While appearing as such, it is not an Italian term and has seldom been used by Italian composers. It may have been coined in 1874 by Jaochim Raff for his Op. 188, but became common only in the early 20th century.
This particular Sinfonietta is an example of transparent scoring – meaning that though it is written for a full wind ensemble, it relies primarily on smaller groupings of instruments throughout. The first movement starts with a simple theme that is transformed from start to finish, becoming an energetic and hectic jumble by the end. The second movement is a melancholy jazz ballad, full rich harmonies building to a thunderous chorus before fading. The third movement reprising themes from both the first and second. It’s a wild ride all the way to the finish line.
Leon Steward – Texas Thunder
Leon Steward (b. 1959) attended Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas. Received BS in Music Theory & Composition 1981. MMed in 1988. Has been actively teaching band in Texas since 1981. Presently resides in Hondo, Texas where he teaches High School band and jazz ensemble. Previous to his present job, Mr. Steward has taught at West Hardin CCISD, Orangefield HS & 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 which specialises in concert band and orchestral publications.
Leon practically owns our Call for Scores competition, missing one year out of four, usually placing more than one in each. This year’s offering is a departure from his style, serving up a tasty little march.
Pasquale Tassone – Civil War Tableau
Pasquale Tassone studied at the Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory in Milan, has an honors diploma from the Chigiana Academy in Siena, Italy and Ph D from Brandeis University. His teachers have included Fracno Donatoni, Giacomo Manzoni and Sandro Gorli in Italy and John Clement Adams, Martin Boykan and Harold Shpero in the United States. HE has written music for the university of Loweli recital series, the M.I.T Band and ALEA III. In 1995 he was commissioned by the Massachusetts Instrumental Conductos Association (MICA) to write a chamber piece that was premiered at the Massachusetts All State Music Convention in March 1996. Also in 1995, his Piccolo Preludio for solo piano was published in the League-ISCM Piano Book.
Civil War Tableau is an arrangement of fives tunes popular during the Civil War. The tunes are historically associated with, and in this arrangement represent, important factions or persons involved in the conflict. Marching Along, by William Bradbury represents the Union Armies. The Negro Spiritual, Go Down Moses, represents the slaves. The Vacant Chair, music by George Root, was sung by soldiers in both the Union and Confederate Armies. The Rebel Soldier, an Appalachian folk song, represents the Confederate Army and Abraham’s Daughter, by Septimus Winnder represents Abraham Lincoln.
Arthur J Michaels – Mythical Royals and Their Heroic Defenders
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 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.
‘Mythical Royals and Their Heroic Defenders’ is an imaginary grandstand view of a make-believe parade of royals and their heroic defenders. It was composed with no specific myth, legend, or heroes in mind-the piece amasses all the mythical features imitative phrases and counterpoint, which suggest a procession of parade performers, one following the other. Let the music spark images or legendary royalty and their heroes among a procession of court acrobats, jugglers, dancers, and musicians in a mythical land.
This work is a slow march for concert band. It is played at a slightly slower tempo than traditional marches, and it was composed for concert performance instead of marching use.
Ultimately ‘Mythical Royals and Their Heroic Defenders’ is a tribute to imagination and aspiration.
This is a second win for Art Michaels in our Call for Scores contests.
Christopher Lowry -Scherzito
Hailing from Nashville, TN, Christopher Lowry is emerging as one of the leading violists and most performed composers of his generation. A two-time prizewinner in the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition and Grand Prize winner in the Lewisville Lake Symphony International String Competition, Lowry has won prizes in composition competitions for the Brazosport Symphony, Vox Novus “Celebrating 200 Years with the West Point Band,” Joliet Symphony Orchestra, The American Prize in Composition, World Projects, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Ablaze Records “Orchestral Masters,” Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Salford International Composition Competition, among others.
His music has been recorded by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra (Czech Republic) for Ablaze Records (“Orchestral Masters, Volume 4”), and performed in important venues such as Carnegie Hall, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, and Ryman Auditorium by ensembles such as the West Point Band, Vanderbilt Wind Symphony, Central Band of the Royal Air Force (UK), “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Chamber Ensemble, Nashville Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Imperial Symphony, Nashville Philharmonic, Louisiana State University Symphony, Austin Peay State University Symphony, Middle TN State University Symphony, Columbia Civic Orchestra, West Coast Classical, Baltika Viola Quartet, and many youth orchestras all over the United States.
A winner in our Call for Scores contest, Scherzito is loosely modelled after the stylistic traits of Gustav Holst’s two Opus 28 Suites for Military Band. It brings a decidedly American approach to a British idiom. Although the piece hints at various works of Holst, all the melodic and motivic material is original. This is an homage to Gustav Holst, My Lowry’s favorite English composer.
Jeremy Bell – The Oneiroi – The Thieves of Lost Dreams
Jeremy Bell (born July 6, 1986) is a band and choral composer and duelling pianos entertainer based out of Chicago, Illinois. Inspired by movie and video game soundtracks, his variety in style is fueled by a desire to study other types of music, bringing a unique creative process to the concert band world, fusing these interests into fun and challenging works that excite both players and listeners. Jeremy blends elements of pop, rock, jazz, and classical music, creating a distinct quality to his compositional voice, and diversity in his words.
Jeremy received his Bachelor of Music degree in Music Composition from Bradley University in Peoria, IL where he studied with Dr. Stephen Heinemann. In 2011, he graduated from Arizona State University with a Masters in Music Composition where he studied with Dr. Rodney Rogers and Dr. Jody Rockmaster.
In Greek Mythology, the Oneiroi were the sons of Nyx (Night) that travelled through dreams as certain types of images. According to Hesiod, Morpheus, the god of dreams, Icelos or Phobetor, the god of nightmares, and Phantasos, the god of fantastical dreams, were the brothers of Hypnos, Thanatos and Geras.
Dreams have been studied ever since they were seen as possible prophecies of future events. In more recent interpretations, dreams were deemed latent desires in the subconscious or random neural firings of recent events, stringing memories into a fantastical narrative. Studies have shown dreams primarily occur during REM sleep and everyone dreams, but not everyone remembers them. Scientists have shown the reason is during REM sleep, the chemical in the brain necessary for producing memories shuts off. It’s often sudden moments during the night or morning when your body is forced to wake that allows you to remember your dream.
The Oneiroi – The Thieves of Lost Dreams depicts the three brothers as thieves, stealing unremembered dreams, taking them back to the realm of dreams (Demos Oneiroi) and add to their collection.
Christopher Hass – Vanquish for Concert Band
Christopher Evan Hass (b. 1993) is a composer and conductor hailing from Ann Arbor, Michigan. Chris is currently pursuing his Master’s Degree in Music Composition at Central Michigan University, studying with Dr. Evan Ware.
Chris’ music has been performed by ensembles including the New York Philharmonic Principal Brass Quintet, the Donald Sinta Saxophone Quartet, and the Third Coast Trombone choir. His music has been performed across the United States, and has received international recognition, with performances in Taiwan and Belgium. His saxophone quartets have been performed at new music festivals including New Music Detroit’s Strange Beautiful Music and the Society for Composers, Inc. Region VI Conference, and the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition by CMU’s Zenith Quartet in 2017.
Originally written for a trombone choir, this composition depicts a battle scene. The first style is characterized by triumphant sounding harmonies and pulsating rhythmic energy, portraying the intensity of battle. The second style features a slower, more sentimental melody, representing the reflection of what they might be fighting for. Both lead to the climax of the piece, the victory of the battle. It ends with a final statement of the sentimental melody, representing the achievement of what they have always been fighting for.
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.