Blueline Concerto (2012)
For Solo Bass Trombone and Wind Ensemble
I have been a fan of hockey for over half my life. To me, going to an NHL game is much more than just a fun match; it’s an all-encompassing experience that floods the senses and explodes with energy and excitement. These games provide the spectator with a unique combination of high-octane intensity and surprisingly graceful movement as the players skate down the ice before clobbering one another into the boards. To say that I heard music in these spectacles of excitement would be a colossal understatement. This work is built with such sounds and excitement. It blends the incredible drive and intensity of the sport with the grace of skating.
The piece begins reminiscent of the empty ice. Before the players take to the rink the ice sits cold and empty. A haze of tension and anticipation hovers over the still rink, awaiting the onslaught of the game.
The players rush onto to the ice, opposing forces ready to battle for victory. The entrance of the solo bass trombone marks the puck drop and the work takes off. The rest of the piece is built off of the concepts and motives derived from these key moments.
As a die hard San Jose Sharks fan it’s no coincidence that two of the major motifs utilized in the work are loosely based on John William’s score for the film Jaws. These combined with the title Blueline Concerto pay homage to my personal favorite player Marc-Edouard Vlasic, one of the key defenders for the San Jose team. The hockey slang term for such a defender is a blueliner.
3 Bb Clarinets
2 Alto Saxophones
Solo Bass Trombone
4 Horns in F
4 Trumpets in Bb
2 Tenor Trombones
Percussion 1: Vibraphone, Toms (4)
Percussion 2: Snare Drum, Tam-tam, Slapstick, Tubular Bells, Xylophone, Bell Tree, Bass Drum
Percussion 3: Large Suspended Cymbal, Bass Drum, Hi-Hat
Percussion 4: Triangle, Slapstick, Brake Drum, Marimba, Trash Cymbal, Crash Cymbals