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"In the North of Aukum Mountain" • premiered 4-24-15 at Sacramento State
In the North of Aukum Mountain was commissioned by Santiago Sabado and the Mountain Creek Middle School Band from Somerset, California. Written in a ternary, or ABA form (slow-fast-slow), the piece is impressionistic of the mountainous landscapes found in and around the Somerset area. Mount Aukum is one of the peaks in that area, 7 miles south of Somerset near the unincorporated community of Aukum in El Dorado County. The piece begins simply, a simple, 4-note figure forms the basis of the melodic material. As the piece builds, the motives become intertwined and overlapped, forming a lush added-tone harmony. The faster, ‘B’ section is initially reminiscent of a march. In this section the melody is at first augmented, before being further developed. The return of the ‘A’ theme brings us back to the feel of the beginning.
Concert Band (grade 2.5)
"Into the Dark" • premiered 12-6-12 at Sacramento State
Into the Dark utilizes a lot of minor triads and sevenths as well as diminished sevenths, which give the piece a somber or melancholy feel. It is essentially written in an ABA form which is illustrated most obviously by the tempos as well as the ostinato figures in the cello that open each section.
trombone and cello
"Winter Prelude" • premiered 5-11-12 at Sacramento State
Winter Prelude invokes a somber and melancholy feel at the beginning and end.  The piece is basically in ternary, or ABA form. The ‘B’ section could be said to invoke the leaves swirling around in the blustery winds of a winter day. Really, the piece was written to emulate the mood of winter, and is therefore probably more appropriately called impressionistic rather than programmatic. Harmonically, the piece does not have a central tonal center per se, but as might be expected it utilizes a lot of minor and augmented intervals and chords. However, the opening of the piece starts with a sort of ‘F’ center, and the return of the ‘A’ section later starts with a center of ‘C’.
e-flat clarinet and bass clarinet
"Fractional State" • premiered 4-11-14 at Sacramento State
Fractional State was composed for the new music ensemble Citywater. Full of driving, repetitive rhythms and eerie, dissonant melodic motifs, this piece often sounds pentatonic in nature. Not surprising, as the entire piece utilizes just 6 pitches: C, E, Eb, F, A and Bb.
flute, clarinet, vibes, piano, violin, cello
"Trio for Oboe, Clarinet, and Viola" • premiered 4-28-11 at Sacramento State oboe, clarinet, viola 2011
"AFS" • premiered 4-7-10 at Sacramento State
AFS was written for percussionist Marilyn Clark Silva. The piece is written roughly in ABA form, with each section distinguished by the notes that are used. The ‘A’ section utilizes the notes C-D-Eb-F-G-B, while the contrasting ‘B’ section uses the notes C#-E-F#-G#-A-Bb (or enharmonic equivalents). Thus the two sections collectively utilize all 12 chromatic tones. The two hexachords are only intermixed once - in the two-bar transition from the ‘A’ section into the ‘B’ section (the flute plays D and G# here, the marimba B and F#). The initial statements from each instrument form the basis of the melodic material for the whole piece, and are varied and restated throughout the work.
marimba and flute
"Quintet for Brass" • premiered 5-15-09 at Sacramento State
The first movement is a lively one written in 5/4 time, and utilizes terracing entrances to construct dissonant harmonic sonorities. These are interspersed with unison sixteenth and eighth note rhythmic figures. The second movement is a ballad, with underlying sixteenth and triplet patterns which act as a current to support the lyrical melodies that are traded off in all five parts, beginning with the tuba. The third movement is an Allegro, and the most ‘tonal’ of the three movements. Beginning simply with a solo melody that gets passed around all five parts, the melody eventually is overlapped, reminiscent of the terracing effect from the first movement. Beginning in 3/4 time, the third movement changes rhythmic feel to 6/8 time, and maintains this until the end, which is a jubilant fanfare-ish finish.
2 trumpets, horn, trombone, tuba
"Children's Hour"
A song with lyrics from the Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem.
soprano and piano 2008
"Duality" • premiered 11-14-08 at Sacramento State
A fast and difficult duet written primarily in 7/8 time, this piece was the winner of the 2008 FeNAM Student Composer's Competition at Sacramento State. The work alternates between driving rhythmic motifs and longing melodic motifs.
violin and cello 2008
"Emotional Gone Amok" • premiered 10-27-08 at Sacramento State
This expressive solo piece alternates between pensive moodiness and rhythmic vibrancy, mixing figures of eight notes, sixteenth notes, and triplets. It primarily uses minor sonorities along with quartal and quintal harmonies.
solo marimba
(rev. 2013)
"Frenetical" • premiered 5-16-08 at Sacramento State
A virtuosic piece, Frenetical was written for Sacramento State flute professor Laurel Zucker, who recorded the piece for her 2009 CD “Inflorescence IV”, available from Cantilena Records. Originally conceived of as a piece depicting the hectic lifestyle of a typical urban city, it was written in one week in the fall of 2007 with the working title of "City Life". The piece was revised several times throughout the fall and into the spring of 2008. The word "Frenetical" means "frantic", a mood which the work attempts to portray by utilizing varying tempos, recurring motives, and a wide instrumental range.
solo flute
"Sonata for Clarinet and Piano" • premiered 4-18-08 at Sacramento State
This sonata is written in a traditional 3-movement format. The first movement, an Allegro, utilizes a lot of moving ascending chromaticism with phrasing that splits the measures, giving the piece a sense of continually moving forward. Nearly the full range of the clarinet is used, from low written F# to a double high G. The piano accompaniment is somewhat Hindemith-ian in its approach, but is contrasted by the lyrical clarinet line. The second movement, a ballad, is quite lyrical in both parts yet still fairly chromatic, presenting a feeling of longing as the clarinet line slowly works its way up the register from a written Middle C to a double high E, then back down again and dropping below Middle C a few times and ending somberly. The third movement is lively and in 5/8 meter, and still harmonically chromatic. Giving the feeling of a dance with a hiccup, the fast paced solo line provides more technical challenge for the clarinetist. The ascending running line at the end is reminiscent of the ending of the opening movement.
solo clarinet and piano
"Bouncy Ball" • premiered 11-9-07 at Sacramento State
A bit of a tongue-in-cheek piece, Bouncy Ball depicts the life of a bouncy ball that's left to bounce around where it will. This piece was the winner of the 2007 FeNAM Student Composer's Competition at Sacramento State.
solo clarinet 2006