March 15th, 2022
Strathmore Concert Hall
commissioned by the President’s Own Marine Band
Flute 3/Alto Flute
Oboe 1 & 2
Clarinet in E-flat
Clarinets in B-flat 1, 2, & 3
Bass Clarinet in B-flat
Contrabass Clarinet in B-flat
Bassoon 1 & 2
Alto Saxophone in E-flat 1 & 2
Tenor Saxophone in B-flat
Baritone Saxophone in E-flat
Cornet in B-flat 1, 2, & 3
Trumpet in C 1 & 2
Horn in F 1, 2, 3, 4
Trombones 1, 2, 3
Timpani (with a Superball mallet)
Set of Bongos, 14″ Tom, Superball mallet, Crotales (upper 8ve), Flexatone, Bass Bow, Chimes
10″ Tom, Superball mallet, Vibraphone (with working motor), Bass Bow, Suspended Cymbal, Thundersheet
12″ & 16″ Toms, Superball mallet, Glockenspiel, Tam Tam (large)
Snare Drum, Superball mallet, Crash Cymbal, Triangle
Bass Drum, Superball mallet, Vibraphone (with working motor), Bass Bow, 2 Large Nipple Gongs
I am a late-in-life composer professionally, but was fortunate to have two loves develop while in High School: my love for creating my own music, and my undying love for Marching Band. As a violist, I did not get to actually be in the band – but all my friends were. I was that kid who rode the band bus to whatever competition or parade they were performing in, just to root them on (and, of course, to be part of the “hang”). Mr. Theodore Scalzo directed the band program, but also taught a class that would eventually change my life – one where we learned about the nuances of Music Theory not by studying all the rules and filling out charts, but by writing our own music using Mac computers and MIDI samplers (and this was back in 1991). I even wrote a concerto for myself and a computer that we toured around, and by senior year I was spending most of my time composing in our little Computer Music Lab when I was not practicing for college auditions. Oddly, when I got into Juilliard, I never once thought of going for composition because I never deemed it “practical”. Sharing my family’s concern over how I would make a living after conservatory, viola always equaled orchestra job in my mind and that was the road I was determined to go down for quite a while.
Years and years passed until I finally acknowledged what was missing from my life and returned to writing my own music – and with that found success that was far from any practical imagining. To be able to write for such an amazing band like the President’s Own is a dream I could not have even conjured.
I chose the title “Press On” because choosing persistence in the face of adversity or uncertainty has been a test for all of us in recent years. One’s mindset and determination is key, even when the future throws us another curveball yet again.
Many thanks to Col. Jason Fettig for the opportunity, and to all the members of the band for bringing this piece to life.