Rise to the Occasion (2021, rev. 2023)
Composed August 2021, rev. January 2023
Instrumentation: 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, Bass Clarinet, 2 Bassoons, 4 Horns, 3 Trumpets, 3 Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, 3 Percussion, Harp, Strings
Percussion 1: Glockenspiel, Vibraphone
Percussion 2: Triangle, Suspended/Crash Cymbal
Percussion 3: Bass Drum, Tam-tam
Premiere: Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra; the composer conducting – October 17, 2021
Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia; George Manahan conducting - September 22, 2022
Springfield Symphony Orchestra; Kevin Scott conducting - January 14, 2023
When one “Rises to the Occasion”, they face a challenge right on and overcome it successfully, doing good work in the process. This is a piece that is both celebratory and festive, yet thoughtful and occasionally introspective. The jovial mood is established from the start, and it finds its way through these different moods in order to maintain that feeling. The piece is, in a sense, rising to the challenge of keeping the musical material fresh throughout.
It is dedicated with gratitude to Richard Giangiulio, music director of the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra, who I had the honor of apprenticing under as a conductor during 2019-2020 and who is a great example of someone who rose to the occasion with his successful building of the youth orchestra and inspiring of many generations of musicians. “Mr. G” (as he is affectionately called by his students) likes to refer to himself as a “music educator with a baton”, but the quality of work he has done shows him to be more than that; I personally refer to him as one of the best teachers anyone could ask for.