Getting started in New Music: experiences with Reveille

On January 26, I gave a talk here at Memorial University as part of our annual Newfound Music Festival. Really, this talk is an excuse for me to share some stories, some opinions and some musical examples that I thought people in my musical community might appreciate. To supplement that talk, here are some links and videos for those who would like to follow up on what they heard (links will open in new tabs).

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Tobin Stokes, Trio Lyrical

This piece was a joint commission of the Reveille Trumpet Collective, and it was a privilege to perform in the premiere with Adam Zinatelli and Timothy Quinlan at the Banff Centre in July 2010.

In the composer’s words: “I was on a quest at first to write something technically amazing… And then I just thought ‘You know what, let’s focus on something else.’ I opened my heart instead of my brain and looked for how could I give the trio a musical experience that they could share with the audience.”

Get the sheet music here:

Gabriel Dharmoo, Sung in a Rickshaw

Gabriel Dharmoo and I met at Domaine Forget in 2005. There, he shared some of his music with me, and I remember being impressed by how strongly his personality shone through his compositions. His music was inventive, witty, and engaging.

Collaborating with Gabriel and performing his music remained as goals in the back of my mind for several years, until finally the Reveille concert at Sound Symposium was on the horizon. Immediately I met with Gabriel and he set to work on a piece inspired by his travels studying south Indian carnatic music.

Sung in a Rickshaw was premiered on July 10 in St. John’s, NL, Canada. Included below is Gabriel’s introduction to the piece, in which he narrates the work’s conception and brings you into the sound world of the piece.

Get the sheet music here:
Gabriel’s introduction:

William Rowson, Sonata for Trumpet and Piano

Adam Zinatelli (principal trumpet, Calgary Philharmonic) commissioned this Sonata last summer for the Sound Symposium festival in St. John’s.  This performance was recorded live at Yale University on Sept. 22, 2011 with Daniel Schlosberg, piano. Be sure to watch in HD on YouTube!

If you’re interested in performing this wonderful piece, you can get the sheet music here.

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Ravel, Habanera for trumpet and trombone

Maurice Ravel’s “Piece en forme de Habanera” is a concert staple. With its enticing melody and exotic flair, it continues to delight audiences to this day. This arrangement, for trumpet and trombone, puts an intimate new spin on the piece.

This recording is from a live performance in March 2011 featuring Aaron Hodgson, trumpet and Jim Tranquilla, trombone.

You can purchase this arrangement (and lots of great new music featuring the trumpet) at, here:

Why I like it: Persichetti, Parable

This series of articles is devoted to advocating contemporary repertoire for trumpet.  I believe new music is often unfairly criticized.  Let’s face it, as brass players we can be a little closed-minded! Hopefully these articles will open your ears to some pieces I find truly fascinating.

“I like solo works, where the whole world is just you and your pipe.” Vincent Persichetti

Parable for Solo Trumpet is number fourteen in a series of instrumental parables written by Persichetti.  Like many of the other parables, it’s unaccompanied and it grows out of one simple idea:

1 – Introduction

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