Duration 21′
Grade Level 6

WATCH – Northwestern University, conducted by the composer.

Concerto for Brass Ensemble




Concerto for Brass Ensemble
James M. Stephenson
Commissioned by Mark Tillinger for the Music City Brass Ensemble
Premiered on 11/11/22

Program notes, by the composer:
VOYAGES – a concerto for brass and percussion.

The Voyages title has two-fold meaning:
One of my favorite experiences is to go on a trip and to discover new things one otherwise couldn’t have imagined. Like when in London, and every turn down a new street reveals new amazing sights. Or, when buying a house, and the viewing reveals that around each corner is a new really cool room, decorated fantastically, and each holding a new charm.
That’s what I tried to do in this piece. It’s one segment after another, each taking the audience into a new world, where they might totally forget where they’ve just been, but completely enjoy the “room” they’re in. The Voyages title suits that, but also suits another bit of a thread I’m beginning to establish.

My 2nd symphony, for wind ensemble, probably my most important work in that realm – is called VOICES. My third symphony, my only one to this point for symphony orchestra, is called VISIONS. My hope is that with VOYAGES, the pattern will continue with what I believe to be significant additions to the repertoire of the respective ensemble.

I tried to be certain to give every player something important and meaningful to contribute, therefore justifying the “Concerto for brass ensemble” subtitle. I do this in almost every work I write, reflecting my general views on humanity, that we are all equally important and necessary. We’re all in this “Voyage” together.

Jim Stephenson ~ December 24, 2020

My most sincere thanks to Mark Tillinger, for commissioning this work, and giving me permission to really “go for it”, and stretch myself within this genre. It is that permission which inspired the creation of this work as it now stands.

Bb piccolo trumpet, C trumpet 1-3, Bb trumpet 4 Bb flugelhorn
French horn 1-4
Trombone 1-3
Bass Trombone
Euphonium 1-2
Tuba 1-2
Timpani + 5 percussion (opt for 6th in parts)
Percussion instruments needed:

Mallets 1: Xylophone, Marimba, Vibes, Slap-sticks, Crotales Mallets 2: 5-octave Marimba, Wood Block, Crotales, Chimes

Percussion 1: Percussion 2:

Percussion 3:

Sus. Cymb., Timbales, Snare Drum (brushes/sticks) Quad-toms, Cymb a2, Ride Cymb.
Tam-tam, Glock., Claves, Tambourine

Slap-sticks, China Cymb., Sus. Cymb. Tam-tam, Quad-toms (shared), Snare Drum Tambourine, Wood Block, Triangle Crotales (if no 6th player)

Bass Drum, Tam-tam, Hi-Hat, Slap-sticks, Triangle, Quad-toms

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