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(2009, rev. 2010) for trumpet quintet

duration: 7 minutes


Perusal Score


Program Note

Sonnerie is French for "making sound" or "ring." The term generally applies to bell towers and/or bells in mechanical clocks or watches, and to outdoor music, for example performed by horns before a hunt, or a serenade performed in honor of a special person.

My first composition teacher, back in the mid-1980s, was Donald Erb. Though we didn't always see eye to eye - he was a man of many strong opinions! - he had a large influence on my development as a composer, and I remain grateful for his personal guidance and for the example he set as a professional.

Donald Erb was also a former trumpeter (like myself) and wrote frequently for brass. One of his best such works is Sonneries (1971), for brass choir. Writing this trumpet quartet one year after his death, I couldn't help thinking back on Don, and decided to borrow his title and dedicate the work to his memory.

Regarding the current composition, I wanted to write a piece emphasizing ringing sounds in various ways, playing with resonance, echoes, timbrel modulation, stereo panning, etc., so there is a great deal of imitation and repetition, with musical ideas bouncing back and forth around the quartet. The work was composed for John Rommel and the IU Trumpet Ensemble.


Score Samples

(pages 3, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11 of 15):