"Catoctin", etc...

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Posted by Kelly O'Bryant on January 26, 1999 at 11:15:43:

Hey Folks -

I just wanted to make a last minute plug for some Ft. Myer Tuba
Conference events coming up here real soon...

1. The infamous tuba rock band "5th Bass" will be crawling out of the
sewer and re-surfacing from the underground for a concert on Saturday,
30 Jan 99, at 2:30 p.m. Leave any preconceived notions of "another lame
tuba swing group" at home......... ;-)

2. I wanted to take a minute and really encourage everyone coming to
make sure you catch the Saturday night Finale concert. I will be giving
the world premiere of a new major work for tuba and band entitled
"Catoctin", composed by Neal Corwell. The fact that I'm playing it isn't
why I'm writing this plug. Neal has totally outdone himself with this
tune, and it will become an instant hit and classic following Saturday
night's première performance. Colonel Shelburne, the leader of the Army
Band, told me yesterday that "Catoctin" was by far the most challenging
and the most entertaining thing he has ever conducted in the history of
the Army Band Conference. The piece, 10 minutes in length, is an
absolute romp for tuba and band. Think Richard Wagner meets John
Williams meets Conan the Barbarian, and they all jump inside Neal
Corwell for a while and create this monster piece for tuba and band.
Jack Tilbury and all the guys in the Army Band can back me up on this -
"Catoctin" is gonna be a "one of a kind" type of thing. We've been
rehearsing it for the past week or so, and each time the level of
excellence gets higher and higher. Neal has just really raised the
standard for new works for tuba and band with this tune.

Since Neal himself won't be at Ft. Myer until the day of the
concert, I wanted to make a brief advertisement for him. The tuba solo
part for "Catoctin" will be available at both the Dillon Music display
booth, as well as Chuck Siepp's music display booth at the conference.

For those of you interested, the complete program notes for
"Catoctin" follow below....

See you at Ft. Myer!

Kelly O...

Kelly O'Bryant
Tuba Soloist/Professor of Music
Annapolis, Maryland


Catoctin, opus 34

For solo tuba and symphonic wind ensemble by Neal Corwell

Commissioned by Steve Dillon of Dillon Music for première by tuba
soloist, Kelly O'Bryant.

Premiered on January 30, 1999 in Arlington, Virginia at The United
States Army Band 16th Annual Tuba-Euphonium Conference with Kelly
O'Bryant, tuba soloist, accompanied by The United States Army Band
(Pershing's Own) Concert band, under the direction of Colonel L. Bryan
Shelburne, Jr.

"It is both the natural beauty and rich heritage of the Catoctin
Mountains, located in Northwest Maryland, that were the inspiration for
"Catoctin", a concert piece for tuba solo with wind ensemble. The
forests of this region were stripped virtually bare by European
settlers, but fortunately the area was purchased for preservation as a
park land by the U.S. government during the 1930's and subsequently
rejuvenated to its present scenic state. In addition to its ecological
onslaught, the mountains have also borne witness to many human conflicts
over the centuries, to include the American Civil War, plus the earlier
clashes between Native Americans and early white settlers.

The solo tuba is clearly the principle voice of the the work, but
many important musical elements are also entrusted to the ensemble and
its' principle players. The delicate interplay between tubist and
ensemble creates a texture that is as much tone poem as feature solo
work. Although a single-movement composition, "Catoctin" is divided into
two main sections. The first, subtitled "beginnings", is meant to be
descriptive of the start of a new day surrounded by the natural beauty
that abounds in the area. A trumpet fanfare-like passage announces the
start of the second section, subtitled "echoes". The title refers not
only to the acoustic phenomenon, but also to the echoes of the region's

- Neal Corwell. Copyright 1999, Nicolai Music. All Rights Reserved.

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