Vast and Curious


For french horn, tuba, and piano.

For solo french horn, solo tuba, and wind ensemble

View Wind Ensemble Score



“Vast and Curious” is a result of a international micro-commission including talented musicians who are also wonderful people. I put out an announcement that I’d love to write a trio for horn, tuba and piano, and within a very short amount of time, the below list was realized, all of whom supported the project enthusiastically.

The work is in three movements. The title is of course a pun on “Fast and “Furious”, which also musically inspires the piece. In mine, the “curious” part is mostly exemplified in the first movement, where I took on the most unique challenge of scoring the entire thing in unison (with displaced octaves) for all three players. An energetic line worms its way throughout, providing a performance challenge I hope to be both be exhilarating and worthwhile. The “vast” is represented by the tuba, of course, but also in the 2nd movement I scored with a wide-open sensibility, representing Gail Williams’ (premiering horn player) love for the mountains. I also desired to provide some space between the outer two frenetic movements. The last movement is mainly a romp to the finish with fun melodies and galloping rhythms.

A list of the participants:

Steve Campbell: tuba, MN Orch
Gail Williams: horn prof., Northwestern, former horn, CSO
Adam Crowe: tuba, US Coast Guard Band
Mike Harcrow: Prof. of horn and theory, Messiah College
Craig Knox: tuba, Pittsburgh Symphony
Joy Branagan/Steve Dumaine: freelance horn, DC/tuba, National Symphony
Daren Robbins: Horn, Thailand Philharmonic and prof. at Mahidol University
Jennifer Dugle Kummer: Horn at Nashville String Machine
Jennifer Masciulli, principal horn, Space Coast Symphony, free-lance horn, FL
Alex Shuhan: Horn Prof. at Ithaca College, Rhythm and Brass
Chris Combest: tuba, Louisville Orchestra
Kelly Drifmeyer, horn and Charles Guy: tuba: Crane School of Music – SUNY Potsdam
Don Harry: tuba, Buffalo Phil, Eastman School of Music
Seth Orgel: horn prof at LSU, Atlantic Brass Quintet
John Manning: tuba prof, U of Iowa, Atlantic Brass Quintet
Kirsten Bendixen-Mahoney/Aaron McCalla: horn/tuba prof at FGCU, Naples Philharmonic
Sue Drake/Matt Gaunt: horn, CSO/ freelance tuba, Chicago
Heid Lucas: horn prof. U of southern Miss., Prin. Hn. at Pensacola Symphony and Opera
Justin Lerma: tuba, US Navy Band, Naples, Italy
Scott Cameron: tuba, US Army and Army Field Band, DC.
Hillary Harding: horn, US “President’s Own” Marine Band
JD Shaw/Sam Pilafian: horn prof., Univ. of New Mexico/tuba soloist, international guest-artist
Patrick Sheridan: International tuba soloist; Music Director, Salt River Brass
David Kutz: Solo tuba, Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Erich Peterson, horn, and Jacob Cameron, tuba:
Assistant principal horn, Grand Rapids Symphony/Asst. Professor of Tuba/Euphonium, Western Michigan University

Jim Stephenson; April, 2014

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