Musings on Mahler

I am proud to dedicate this music to Dr. Mark Ponzo, my friend and colleague from Northern Illinois University. Mark was one of the very first faculty members to welcome me to NIU in 2005, and he has been a consistent source of encouragement and friendship ever since. As our trumpet professor, Mark has consistently supported my leadership of the Wind Symphony, and the marching band, by encouraging his students to perform in these groups. I am grateful for the many times he has appeared as a soloist with the Wind Symphony as well. Our shared background as high school band directors has consistently shaped our collective approach to preparing our students to be teachers and players.

We were sharing a press box while judging a marching band show together when we hatched the idea of creating this piece. I was not surprised when Mark suggested that we use Mahler lieder as source material for this project, due to the rich lyrical and harmonic content of the music. I was very surprised when he said he wanted to play cornet, flugel horn, and piccolo trumpet during the course of the piece, in that order, due to the difficulty of switching instruments within a single piece of music. This conversation prompted a wonderful journey of discover as I listened to many hours of Mahler’s music, trying to find songs that fit the nature of the trumpet. Both Mark and my students proved to be valuable collaborators as we worked out the best possible solutions to the challenges provided by the music. I hope the listener is pleased with the results!

Notes by Thomas Bough

Price: $120/wind and percussion parts

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