Eric Ewazen Receives Eastman Distinguished Alumni Award, Fall 2015 Updates

Just considering the smattering of Eric Ewazen’s most recent activities below, it should come as no great surprise that Eastman presented him with their Distinguished Alumni Award at their annual Meliora Weekend on Oct. 8th – 11th, 2015.  This the very first time this award has been presented to a former composer from the school.

For starters, this summer Southern Music proudly released the following two new publications by Eric Ewazen:

Audio Score

Click cover for audio score to “Tattoo”

Tattoo for Symphonic Band is the stirring finale of Legacy, commissioned for the bicentennial celebration of West Point. The opening theme “Tattoo” is based on the bugle call which signals a return to quarters at day’s end. The score includes antiphonal effects with optional offstage bugles and field drum, creating an authentic “military” sound. The old West Point song “Benny Havens” leads into the reemerging “Tattoo” theme, now answered by other bugle calls, bringing the work to a rousing conclusion. (Grade 4)

Audio Score

Click cover for audio score to this work

Hymn for the Lost and the Living Arranged for Trombone Choir by Chris Sharpe.
This gorgeous setting is dedicated to Vern and Jan Kagarice and was premiered by University of North Texas Trombone Choir. The work portrays the days in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 of supreme sadness and surprising resilience as the country mourned a great loss while coming together for help, comfort, and strength. (Grade 5)

Eric Ewazen has continued to be a much sought-after guest at music festivals both in the US and worldwide. He was most recently Composer-In-Residence at the Jeju Festival of Winds in South Korea in early August.  While there he conducted a concert of his wind ensemble music including “Legacy“, “Flight” and “A Hymn for the Lost and the Living” with the Navy Band of South Korea.  Musicians and audience alike loved the music.  His “Bass Trombone Concerto” (piano reduction) and “Trumpet Sonata” were also performed.

In July Eric performed his “Trumpet Sonata” and “Bass Trombone Concerto” at the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine.

He was also invited to Hong Kong in July as Composer-In-Residence by SliderAsia where the Bass Trombone Concerto was performed by the year’s low brass contest winner.

On July 9th, Eric’s trombone music was featured and played by Dede Decker in a master class at the International Trombone Festival in Valencia, Spain.  The composer played the piano accompaniment during the master class.

At the Berkshire Music Center Brass Festival in June, Eric conducted his “Grand Canyon Octet for 8 Horns”, and heard the “Pastorale for Trumpet, Bass Trombone and Piano” performed by Principal Trumpet David Krauss and Bass Trombonist Denson Paul Pollard of the MET orchestra, and the “Trumpet Sonata” played by Principal Trumpet with the Rhode Island Philharmonic Joe Foley.

The Rochester Philharmonic will play the “Bass Trombone Concerto” on Feb. 25th and 27th, 2016.  Gunther Herbig will conduct, with Jeffrey Gray on bass trombone.  Having received his degree from Eastman, this is a particularly exciting performance for the composer.

James Barnes: New Works, Recording and Performance Update Fall 2015

Audio Score

Click cover to view Symphonic Requiem audio score

This summer, Southern Music released James Barnes’ Symphonic Requiem (Seventh Symphony). Commissioned for the United States Army Band to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the American Civil War, the work combines two massive structures into one: a requiem and a symphony. It portrays the heartbreak of three of the most dramatic battles of the war, concluded by an apotheosis, a hymn of respect and praise for the 668,000 soldiers, Confederate and Federal alike, who gave their lives during this monumental conflict. (Grade 5) Order from your favorite retailer or through Hal Leonard.

The Kansas Virtuosi premiered James Barnes’ Serenade for Winds in April of 2015 to help celebrate the reopening of Swarthout Recital Hall at University of Kansas after two million dollars in renovations. Southern Music will publish the performance edition, release date to be announced.

In June and July, Barnes took a four-week tour to Japan.  He conducted five concerts while there with three different bands: three concerts with the Shobi Wind Orchestra on a tour of Hokkaido, a concert with Senzoku Gakuen in Kawasaki, and a concert in Tokyo with Sienna Winds.  A CD of the live Sienna Winds performance will be released in November and will include “Alvamar Overture”, “Arioso and Presto”, “Fantasy Variations on a Theme by Niccolo Paganini”, and the “Third Symphony”.

James Barnes officially retired from the University of Kansas on Aug. 1st, 2015 after 41 years of teaching.  Since then, he finds he has been watching a lot of Kansas City Royals games.  But he has also found time to compose three new band pieces: “Citadel” (to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the University of Kansas), “Italian Wedding Song” (Grade 4), and “Prairie Wind Festival” (Grade 3), release dates to be announced. To view James Barnes’ current Southern Music band publications, visit Hal Leonard.

James Barnes also conducted the premiere of his Eighth Symphony in Wangen am Algau, Germany this March, 2015.  It was commissioned to celebrate the 1200th anniversary of that city.