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Celebration Fanfares
for orchestra
(2008)

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This piece was composed for conductor Ya-Ping Wang and the National Pingtung University of Education Music Department Orchestra. Because it is the first piece I composed for this orchestra and because it was written during my first year as a full time faculty member at the university, I decided that it should be an energetic and celebratory piece suitable for new beginnings and new possibilities. It therefore includes much fanfare-like music for brass and percussion.

While composing this piece, the challenge I faced was to avoid a traditional harmonic language, but still create a bright, energetic and optimistic mood. I therefore made harmonies out of intervals I consider to have a bright sound, such as perfect fourths, fifths and major seconds. Then, I assigned many different instruments to simultaneously play fast note patterns using those pitches. The result is a series of energized orchestral textures that alternate with fanfares and that also serve as accompaniment patterns for melodies.

Fanfares and this energetic music are what first appear when this piece begins. Eventually, a transition using horns and chimes leads to a quite and mysterious-sounding middle section of woodwind solos. There, the harmonic language is somewhat different and the textures more contrapuntal. Later, the transition of horns and chimes returns, this time it building up to a modified reprise of the energetic music. Subdivisions help to enhance this broad A-B-A structure as well as provide contrast and dramatic direction.

(duration ca. 8:30)