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1. Christopher Lowry: Romanza for Four Violas, Opus 15

Christopher Lowry: Romanza for Four Violas, Opus 15

This is the demo recording of my viola quartet "Romanza," which was a commission for the American Viola Society; the piece was premiered late September 2012 in Knoxville, TN and has since been performed all over the world. I recorded all four viola parts for this demo using the M-Audio Microtrack II recorder. Here are notes about the piece: “Inspired by the rich vocal qualities of the viola, 'Romanza' attempts to combine two very different musical idioms: English pastoral and Italian opera. As a violist myself, I have always been drawn to the beauty and complexity of the viola’s tone; it can be dark and brooding, idyllic and nostalgic, or even bright and joyful. These are just some of the many facets of this unique instrument that encouraged the creation of this work. 'Romanza' deals with the implications of writing for four of the same instrument by experimentation with close spacing of voices, as well as pairing the opposite extremes of range, simultaneously utilizing the richness and power of the C-string and the plaintive singing qualities of the upper register. The piece consists of one primary theme with very little deviation from it; most of the development occurs through means such as motivic variation and changes in tessitura, texture, harmony, counterpoint, and tempo. That said, the piece can essentially be viewed in ternary form, with two slower sections separated by a faster lively section, contrasting the lyrical with the fiery and virtuosic. It exploits many of the viola’s wonderful effects and timbres, a variety of bowstrokes, a broad range of dynamics, and even the challenge of balancing voices. The melodic material is evenly shared among the four players, and therefore all four voices should be thought of as equals. 'Romanza' was commissioned by David Bynog for the American Viola Society.”

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2. "Celebration Overture," for Orchestra, Opus 1 No.1 (World Premiere)

This is the world premiere recording of "Celebration Overture," my first finished serious composition. Originally intending it to be the first movement of my Symphony, I finished the piece in 2006 and had it performed that December by the Curb Youth Symphony, conducted by Carol Nies. After this successful premiere, as well as nine other performances (including one by the Nashville Symphony Orchestra), I decided to transcribe the piece for wind ensemble; this version was premiered in January 2011 by the Vanderbilt University Wind Symphony, led by Thomas Verrier. The piece starts with a heroic theme played by the horns over fast running notes in the strings and winds; this is followed by a lively xylophone solo. A restatement of the theme in full instrumentation leads to a triumphant rallentando, resounding with the powerful clangor of the tubular bells. The next section introduces a slightly more melancholy theme, played by a solo trombone. This theme is repeated by the trumpets, clarinets, and violas over a plodding rhythmic ostinato, using percussive textures that suggest some form of ethnic influence. After a brief reflection on earlier themes, a flurry of wind trills, horn rips, and cymbal swells leads into a cataclysmic final statement of the second theme, played by the full brass section over thunderous percussion. After this subsides, the violas and bassoons play a variation on the original theme, which is influenced much by the harmonic language of Rimsky-Korsakov. Finally, the full orchestra plays a restatement of the original theme, which builds in intensity until the end of the piece. Celebration Overture is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, optional contrabassoon, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones (3rd=bass trombone), tuba, timpani, snare drum, bass drum, crash and suspended cymbals, small and large triangles, tam-tam, tambourine, temple blocks, mark tree, brake drum, xylophone, glockenspiel, crotales, tubular bells, 2 harps, piano (doubling celesta), and strings.

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3. Hymn of Grieving and Acceptance, Opus 30, for Concert Band (Demo, RoughMix 1.24.18)

Hymn of Grieving and Acceptance, Opus 30, for Concert Band (Demo, RoughMix 1.24.18)

Christopher Lowry (b.1988) "Hymn of Grieving and Acceptance," Opus 30, for Concert Band (Grade 4) PROGRAM NOTES: “On May 6, 2017, my apartment in Baton Rouge, LA, burned down, destroying many personal items and irreplaceable memories, and killing my cat Clara. Needless to say, the next several months were filled with sadness, anger, confusion, and helplessness. Though I am still working through all of this, I decided to deal with the pain through music. Hymn for Grieving and Acceptance is the first piece I have written since then that directly deals with these emotions. As the title suggests, this piece represents the gradual transition from grief to peace; though I’m still in the process of figuring out exactly how that feels and what it means, this piece is my own personal, musical expression of this process as of now. “Hymn concerns itself more with the journey to peace than with the actual despair; the mood of the piece is largely reverent and hopeful. The basis of the piece is a slow chorale that starts somberly and progressively grows more resolved throughout the piece. The second theme is a hymn-like tune that owes much to Gustav Holst. These two ideas develop together motivically as the piece grows in emotion and intensity. The latter third of the piece is a faster, more assured variation on the themes, which leads to a final climatic statement of the chorale. “Hymn for Grieving and Acceptance was commissioned by World Projects and will be premiered in Carnegie Hall in March 2018 by the Dublin High School Wind Ensemble (conducted by Melissa Williams).” Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, Oboe, Bassoon, 3 Clarinets in B-flat, optional Alto Clarinet in E-flat, Bass Clarinet in B-flat, Contralto Clarinet in E-flat, 2 Alto Saxophones, Tenor Saxophone, Baritone Saxophone, 3 Cornets (or Trumpets) in B-flat, 2 Horns in F, Tenor Trombone, Bass Trombone, Euphonium, Tubas, Double Bass, Timpani, and Percussion (5 players sharing Bass Drum, Crash Cymbals, 2 Suspended Cymbals, Tam-tam, Triangle, Marimba, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, and Tubular Bells).

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4. Lowry - Little Suite - III. March And Scherzo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - III. March And Scherzo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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5. 05 im so glad

05 im so glad

This is a just a quick sample to show you that I can indeed mix anything. I am a fan of ambiance and subtle tones. I love natural sound enhanced and perfected.

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6. My Jesus, I Love Thee

My Jesus, I Love Thee

My grandmother Melba Lollar passed away recently, and since I was unable to attend her memorial service, I was asked to arrange and record a few hymns to be played at the service. I arranged, recorded, and mixed all of this in less than 24 hours (an all-nighter well spent), so pardon the intonation and the background noise (can't help that there are noisy children outside my windows). I'll probably re-record and edit this more later when I get ready to do the full-length hymn album. This arrangement takes my own approach to the four-part hymn and expands into a more modern ballad-like feel. Instruments: Violas, Brita water filter shaker, synth pad and bass, and percussion samples I took of myself.

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7. 09 yes you

09 yes you

This is a just a quick sample to show you that I can indeed mix anything. I am a fan of ambiance and subtle tones. I love natural sound enhanced and perfected.

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8. Abide With Me / Jesus Lover of My Soul

Abide With Me / Jesus Lover of My Soul

My grandmother Melba Lollar passed away recently, and since I was unable to attend her memorial service, I was asked to arrange and record a few hymns to be played at the service. I arranged, recorded, and mixed all of this in less than 24 hours (an all-nighter well spent), so pardon the intonation and the background noise (can't help that there are noisy children outside my windows). I'll probably re-record and edit this more later when I get ready to do the full-length hymn album. This arrangement is an odd combination of musical styles that I can best describe as a Renaissance dance (galliard maybe?) mixed with a campfire sing-along song....for better or for worse... Instruments: Bowed Violas, Strummed Viola, Viola-Drum, Sesame Seed Canister Shaker, synth bass, and a few percussion samples.

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9. Christopher Lowry: "Concert Fantasy for Trombone and Piano," Opus 9

Christopher Lowry:

Concert Fantasy for Trombone and Piano, Opus 9 I. Noble, with Grandeur; Martial -- II. Menacing -- III. Lamenting: Reflecting -- IV. Noble, yet Retrospective John Fontaine, trombone; Shelby Flowers, piano This is the world premiere recording of my "Concert Fantasy" for trombone and piano. This is the original instrumentation of the piece; I am currently in the process of orchestrating it as well. Here are my notes about the piece: "I have always had a special fondness for the trombone—not only for its rich tonal spectrum, but also for its versatility and wide range of 'personalities.' More so than many other brass instruments, the trombone is well suited to almost any style of music, and it has been used effectively to personify nobility, as well as many others characters that a composer might intend. It was my deep interest and fascination with these concepts that sparked the inspiration for my 'Concert Fantasy.' Through this piece I hoped to showcase many different characteristics, contrasting the stately and magnificent with the brash, edgy, bombastic, sardonic, whimsical, introspective, wistful, and meditative. Though technically only in one movement, 'Concert Fantasy' is divided into four sections, each of which has a form unto itself, but all of which fall under a larger hierarchical structure. Therefore, the piece, though not truly programmatic, seems to be somewhat narrative in style. "The first section ('Noble, with Grandeur; Martial') opens with a declamatory fanfare, suggesting royalty or aristocracy. After this exciting introduction is a march of a somewhat militaristic style, with the trombone playing an articulate melody over the piano's ostinato chords. Soon, the harmony becomes slightly obscured, as if what appears to be noble is in fact deceiving. A slightly truncated and more dissonant version of the opening fanfare leads into the second section ('Menacing'). Marked 'Allegro frenetico,' this section is quite frenzied and boisterous, perhaps suggesting the outbreak of war. Syncopations, cluster chords, and effects such as flutter-tongue and glissandos build suspense and keep the listener on the edge of his seat. This relatively jazzy, even raunchy section culminates in a tumultuous chord in the piano, which never resolves but instead leads into the third section ('Lamenting: Reflecting'). Perhaps the aftermath of the previous 'battle,' this section is slow and mournful, showing the beautiful, expressive timbres of the trombone in its quieter register. The motivic and melodic content of this section is based firmly on ideas introduced earlier in the piece. The trombone reflects on these earlier themes both with and without the mute. Several cadenza-like figures for both piano and trombone lead into a quiet reiteration of the opening fanfare, which results in a series of trombone cadenzas and a dramatic crescendo up to the emotional climax of the piece. As the intensity begins to disperse, the piano leads into the fourth and final section ('Noble, yet Retrospective'). This section is essentially a recapitulation of the march-like theme—still noble, but this time jaded with the knowledge and experience of times past. The piece concludes with a final statement of the fanfare and an exciting flourish to a triumphant end. This piece was written for and is dedicated to John Fontaine." Recorded April 7 and 25, 2011, in Steve and Judy Turner Recital Hall, Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN. This piece is copyright 2009/10 by Christopher Lowry. Score and parts will be available upon request.

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10. Suite on "Be Thou My Vision"(Rough Mix, 6.15.17)

Suite on

A rough mix of my Celtic-Rock arrangement of "Be Thou My Vision" mixed with two of my own original jigs. All instruments either played or programmed by me. This is part of my upcoming CD, "The Instrumental Hymnal."

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11. Lowry - Little Suite - IV. Rondo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - IV. Rondo (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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12. Lowry: "Golden Rhapsody, Opus 17" (Live with the LSU Symphony)

Lowry:

Christopher Lowry: "Golden Rhapsody, Opus 17" for Orchestra Louisiana State University Symphony Orchestra, cond. Carlos Riazuelo Recorded Live, September 19 and 20, 2016; LSU Union Theater, Baton Rouge, LA Recorded by Bill Kelley; Edited and Mixed by Chris Lowry “The piece consists of two main themes, both of which evolve from the opening motives, but neither of which is fully stated until about 3 minutes into the piece. The use of chorales is also a key idea behind the piece, serving as transitional material as well as a means to relate the two themes to each other. The ever-evolving opening motive unfolds canonically in the trumpets, horns, and trombones respectively, each time in a different key. The melody begins to take shape as a sort of horn call, over rumbling strings and organ pedals and thunderous percussion. The ‘Golden Theme’ is finally stated in full, passed between solo trumpet and trombone and then the string section. This theme is interesting and spontaneous, as it always modulates up by a whole step; this section never stays in the same key (or meter) for more than a few bars at a time. After some development of the theme, a chorale leads the piece to the slower middle section, where the oboe introduces the second theme in triple meter. The strings take over the theme, which is then given to the bassoon and taken by a solo viola. “This peaceful moment gives way to a dramatic build in intensity until the grandiose climax of the piece—a glorious tutti statement of the second theme. Following this is a sort of recap of the Golden Theme, played first by the horns and then by the bass trombone. Everything is summed up, and then a gentle string chorale followed by a dramatic crescendo in the percussion section leads the piece to a flashy and exuberant finale. “‘Golden Rhapsody’ was commissioned for the Blair School of Music's 50th Concert Season.”

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13. Lowry - Little Suite - II. Cancion (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - II. Cancion (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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14. Lowry - Little Suite - I. Introduction And Sonatina (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Lowry - Little Suite - I. Introduction And Sonatina (Louisiana Sinfonietta)

Christopher Lowry "Little Suite for Strings," Opus 27 Louisiana Sinfonietta, cond. Dinos Constantinides I. Introduction and Sonatina II. Canción III. March and Scherzo IV. Rondo "This short suite in four movements draws its inspiration from the string music of Tchaikovsky, Dvorak, Elgar, and Nielsen, while remaining true to my own American sentiments and compositional voice. The first movement begins with a broad, chorale-like introduction followed by a brief study in sonata form, making a few references to some of my favorite works in this idiom. The second movement is a slow, relatively undeveloped song without words that features short solos for violin, viola, and cello; this movement is dedicated to Perla Fernandez. The ternary third movement features a pompous theme contrasted with a brisk theme excerpted from deleted material from my 'Symphony No. 0.' The main theme of the 'Rondo' is in a spirited 7/8 time, which contrasts the slow, contrapuntal B-theme and the lyrical C-theme. "'Little Suite' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Runnels School. The piece was premiered on May 3, 2017, by the Runnels School String Orchestra, under the baton of Régulo Stabilito." Recorded October 7-8, 2017; LSU Recital Hall; Baton Rouge, LA; Engineered and Mixed by Christopher Lowry

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15. Chris Lowry: "The American Dream - An Anthem," for string orchestra, Opus 10 (World Premiere)

Chris Lowry:

This is the world premiere recording of my composition "The American Dream - An Anthem," for string orchestra. Here are my notes about the piece: "I wrote this piece during a time of personal reflection—a time when I was thinking about what it truly means to be a modern American composer. I had recently taken a course in college on American Music and learned much about our musical heritage and traditions. Throughout the country's history, music has always been evolving and taking on characteristics and influences from the music of other countries and cultures. Important pioneers of American classical music, such as Edward MacDowell, Henry Cowell, Aaron Copland, and Leonard Bernstein (just to name a few), heavily alluded to past traditions in their music and thus truly paved the way for American composers for years to come. I have repeatedly reflected on these things, and this piece is a culmination of those musings as well as an homage to the great composers and rich musical history of America. "The piece comprises three basic ideas. One of these is a spirited, almost patriotic theme, which presents itself first in 7/8 and then in a steady 4/4 time. The second idea is a slower variation on the theme in 3/4, which is the basis for the slow middle section. The last idea is a broad, sweeping gesture that begins the piece, ends it, and ties everything together. All three of these musical ideas can be related to the tenets of the American Dream, as outlined in the Declaration of Independence: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. This piece is meant to invoke a feeling in the listener—perhaps a feeling of patriotism or a feeling of unity. This feeling will be different for everyone, but, regardless of what that feeling is, I hope the piece will resonate with the listener and remind everyone that, even during the trials and tribulations of today, America is one nation—united we stand." New York All-State String Orchestra, conducted by Carol Nies Recorded Live on December 2, 2011, at the Eastman School of Music, Rochester, NY. This piece is copyright 2010/11 by Christopher Lowry. The score and parts are available for purchase or rent upon request.

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16. Lowry - A Cypress Prelude, Opus 16 (Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra)

Lowry - A Cypress Prelude, Opus 16 (Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra)

Christopher Lowry: "A Cypress Prelude, Opus 16," for orchestra (2015). Nashville Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Elias Salazar This is the second of two performances of my piece "A Cypress Prelude" by the Nashville Philharmonic as a result of winning the NPO Composition Competition. This was performed/recorded on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 (just a few weeks after its premiere by the Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra) at St. George Episcopal Church, Nashville, TN. Here are the program notes for the piece: "This piece is meant to musically depict the stalwartness and abstract beauty of a Southern Cypress Tree. The theme grows from one small motive that germinates organically throughout the course of this short, relatively undeveloped piece. This motive is somewhat stark and militaristic sounding at times, and more plaintive and introspective at other times. The theme is first introduced as an orchestral unison over the ringing of bells and tam-tam, and after a short horn interlude, it appears again as a sort of fugato for the strings, which sets up the modal, contrapuntal nature of the piece. The interplay between the strings and winds gives way to a sort of full-orchestra refrain that appears multiple times. The second theme appears first as a sort of counter-theme but then evolves into a slow middle section, much more lush and "verdant" than before. After another statement of the opening melody, this time in the trombone, the orchestra begins to repeat the refrain, building in dynamics and intensity until a capricious coda drives the piece to a vibrant finish. Overall the piece is somewhat whimsical, while remaining deeply rooted in its serious nature. 'A Cypress Prelude' was commissioned for and is dedicated to Jennifer Cassin and the Louisiana Junior Youth Orchestra." "A Cypress Prelude" is scored for 2 flutes, oboe, English horn, 2 clarinets, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 2 trumpets, 2 trombones, bass trombone, tuba, timpani, 2-3 percussion (snare drum, bass drum, crash and suspended cymbals, tam-tam, triangle, glockenspiel, and tubular bells), and strings. Score and parts are available upon request.

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17. Celebration Overture (Live with the Curb Youth Symphony - May 2012)

Celebration Overture (Live with the Curb Youth Symphony - May 2012)

Carol Nies leads the Curb Youth Symphony in an energetic performance of my "Celebration Overture." Recorded live, May 7, 2012 in Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music - Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN

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18. "Livewire!" for Flute, Clarinet, and Horn, Opus 7 (DEMO)

"Livewire!" for flute, clarinet, and horn, Opus 7 Sequenced and mixed in SONAR 8.5 Producer using EastWest Symphonic Orchestra. "Livewire!" is a short, energetic showpiece for flute, clarinet, and horn, which I composed over the summer of 2010 while spending time in Vienna, Austria, and Aix-en-Provence, France. The initial idea of the piece was inspired by “electrical issues” experienced while overseas, beginning with my excursion to London earlier in the year. Basically, I have “shorted-out” or otherwise destroyed several appliances (including a hairdryer, a power strip, and several power adapters and voltage converters) due to both faulty equipment and ignorance. Regardless of the adapters I use or the voltage I set things to, I always seem to end up destroying something. Though this is extremely irritating, it “sparked” inspiration (pun completely intended) for this piece. The piece serves to musically depict the fickle nature of electricity—everything from small zaps and jolts, to gentle undulating currents, to total electrocution! This is achieved through a variety of different means, most obviously through effects and extended techniques (fluttertongue, glissandi, horn rips, and use of the mute and stopping) and through form (many jagged phrases and full stops—"short-fuses," if you will). After the beginning fanfare, each instrument has a characteristic solo based on a different scale. This is followed by disjointed melodic motives constantly interrupted by crude "zaps" from the horn. This culminates in a variation on earlier thematic material presented as a duo between flute and clarinet over a nervous bass line. After building to a sort of climax, the energy is dispersed through a tutti fortissimo outburst. The middle section seems calmer but is still filled with nervous intensity; a phrase is never finished without some form of “surge” from the horn or murmur from the flute or clarinet. Of course, the original material comes back, but this time truncated and with the flute and clarinet having swapped roles. Sparks fly (hopefully only figuratively speaking!) as an electric flourish of running notes carries the piece to an explosive finale. "Livewire!" was written for and is dedicated to flutist Abi Coffer, clarinetist Joe Medina, and hornist Hannah Tilton. This piece is the Collegiate Winner of the 2012 National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Composition Competition; it will be performed on June 24, 2012, by members of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, Washington DC.

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