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  • Writer's pictureJennifer E. Rose

Final Preparations & Cruelty to Horns

Ok, so they aren't THOSE final preparations, I'm making my final preparations to attend Midwest. Since last time, I finished extracting parts for "Pegasus In Flight", completed a concert march called "The Aerialist", and began work on a jig for a colleague. I flew through the march when I sat down to write, but those midnight composing sessions mixed with the 5 a.m. alarm proved to be quite taxing. I had to force myself to stop writing in order to wake up close to on time the next morning. When adding up all the chunks of time, I put in about 10 hours of work on "The Aerialist". I am quite pleased with the overall process and seem to have found one that works for me...for now.

Through the process of writing this march, my focus on craftsmanship has been rejuvenated. When I was studying composition, I was required to research the various forms, structures, and chordal developments of the pieces that I was assigned to imitate. Honestly, it has been years since I have done such studying. Since I had never written a true concert band march, I sat down to listen to and study a classic and the expert on the matter - John Philip Sousa.

If you're a horn or alto player,

you most likely regurgitated a little

or became faint at the reading of his name. Not because of your deep infatuation with him, but because you may be emotionally scarred from your high school and college experience of Mr. Sousa's prolific writings. However, there is value in your pain-you have a keen sense of syncopation and a profound understanding of the backbeat and it's importance.

In any case, in order for me to write an authentic concert march, I felt I should study a master. Though compositionally I do not wish to imitate his cruelty to hornists, I do quite enjoy creating melodies from the rhythms they inspire. I am so pleased to have completed this and look forward to many more.

Until next time...

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