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Mark Nelson Tuba Recital
Program Notes
April 21, 2005 7:00 P.M.
Music Building Recital Hall
Pima Community College
Tuba Concerto (1976)…………………...……………………………..Edward Gregson (b. 1945)
The Gregson Tuba Concerto was commissioned by the Besses o’ th’ Barn Brass Band with
funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain. Since its premiere, hundreds of
performances have been heard all over the world both with brass band and with piano
accompaniment. It rivals the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto in popularity and has also been
arranged for solo tuba and symphony orchestra as well as solo tuba and concert band. The three
movements follow a typical pattern of fast-slow-fast and the other movements each have a quasicadenza. What stands out in all three movements are the lyrical qualities of the tuba solo and the
interchanges between solo and accompaniment that compliment the tuba range and dexterity.
There is even a quote from the Vaughan Williams tuba concerto in the first movement and
several jazz-like chords and progressions in the third movement. It has been recorded several
times with brass band including the Besses o’ th’ Barn Band with the late John Fletcher as the
tuba soloist (Chandos chan4526).
Edward Gregson (born 1945) is one of Britain’s most respected
composers, whose music has been performed, broadcast and recorded
worldwide. He studied composition (with Alan Bush) and piano at the
Royal Academy of Music from 1963-7, winning five prizes for
composition. He received early success with his Brass Quintet, which
was broadcast and recorded (by the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and the
Hallé Brass Consort). This was followed by many commissions from,
amongst others, the English Chamber Orchestra and the York Festival.
Edward Gregson is Principal of the Royal Northern College of Music in
Manchester, having previously held the position of Professor of Music at
Goldsmiths College, University of London. He is an Honorary Professor
of Music at the University of Manchester and in 1996 was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of
Music from the University of Sunderland (his city of birth). He is a Fellow of the Royal Northern
College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal College of Music.
--biography from www.edwardgregson.com
Escapement for Solo Tuba (1980)*………..........................................Ronald D. Hanson (b. 1945)
Escapement for Solo Tuba was written for Mark Nelson while he was an undergraduate at
Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Dr. Nelson approached his then music theory
instructor about writing a solo work for him for his last recital at PLNU. The composer wrote a
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challenging unaccompanied solo completed a couple of months before the recital that features a
recurring ascending melodic line, perhaps signaling that soon graduation would take place and
escapement from college to further adventures would be possible. According to Dr. Hanson, it is
not a solo for a player with weak knees! This performance is a tribute to a great teacher and
composer on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the premiere.
Ronald Hanson has a BA in music from California Baptist University
(1967), a Master of Music (1972) in Choral Conducting and a Doctor of
Musical Arts (1976) in Music Theory and Composition (with a minor in
the Radical Reformation) from Southwestern Baptist Theological
Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. He was a graduate assistant in both choral
activities and music theory at SWBTS, taught at Point Loma Nazarene
University from 1977-89 (all music theory, electronic music, and Male
Chorale), and most recently teaches at Miramar College as an adjunct in
music (2002-present).
Ếtre ou ne pas Ếtre……………………….............................................Henri Tomasi (1901-1971)
Ếtre ou ne pas Ếtre is one of the more interesting tuba in chamber music compositions as it
features what amounts to a low brass symphony section of three trombones and a tuba. The solo
can be played either by a tuba or bass trombone. The music features extensive muting by the
trombones and is based in part on Hamlet’s soliloquy of the same title. The single movement
work is brooding and contemplative with slow tempi and rubato playing. In 1971, a definitive
recording with the trombone and tuba section of the Chicago Symphony was released as part of a
LP disc of low brass symphonic excerpts. It has recently been re-released in CD format as
Chicago Symphony Trombone and Tuba Sections Plays Concert Works and Orchestral Excerpts
available at www.windsongpress.com.
Born in 1901, Tomasi received his initial musical training at the
Marseilles Conservatory. Further instruction was obtained at the Paris
Conservatory under Caussade, Vidal, d’Indy, and Gaubert. Tomasi was
also fortunate to be numbered among the composition students of
Dukas. Although remembered primarily as a composer, Tomasi
attained early renown as a conductor, having been associated with such
organizations as the Monte Carlo Opera, Radio-Paris, Casino de Vichy,
and the Radio-Colonial. Many prestigious awards mark Tomasi’s dual
career: the Halphen Prize in 1925, the Second Prix de Rome in 1927
(the same year he also won the prize in orchestral conducting from the
Paris Conservatory), the Prix des Beaux-Arts in 1929, the Grand Prix de la Musique Francaise in
1952, and in 1960, the Grand Prix Musical de la Ville de Paris.—biography from Jane Eschrich,
The Solo Compositions of Henri Tomasi for Double Reed Instruments
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Angels’ Carillons (2004)*+……………………………………..Adriana Figuroa Mañas (b. 1967)
Angels’ Carillons is Nelson’s second commission for a tuba work from this talented composer
from Argentina. Dr. Nelson premiered Tango Images for tuba and piano two years ago at a Pima
recital and now has the honor and privilege of premiering this new work for tuba and marimba.
It is a single movement work featuring some unusual effects such as imitating the wind by
blowing air through the tuba and affecting the pitch up and down through changing the mouth
aperture. The marimba has several virtuosic passages with four mallet playing while the tuba is
featured primarily as a melodic instrument. Hints of tango rhythms and extensive syncopation
make the unusual combination of tuba and marimba exotic and exciting.
Adriana Figuroa Mañas is flautist & singer-songwriter from
Argentina, and graduated from the School of Music at the National
University of Cuyo. As well as having played classically in various
settings, including for the Symphonic Orchestra of Mendoza, she
enjoys playing jazz, fusion and pop. In addition to the flute,she
plays alto & soprano sax and piccolo. Her jazz band, “West Jazz
Band” won the prize for the best band in Mendoza, and a
woodwind ensemble that she was part of won first prize in the 1998 Antorchas Chamber
Competition, playing a selection of her own compositions. She teaches music and flute at the
English-German school, Konrad Lorenz, where she greatly enjoys working with children. She
has recorded two albums of songs for children, including Canciones para los inquietos.
Dance of the Ocean Breeze……………………………………………..Roger Kellaway (b. 1939)
Dance of the Ocean Breeze was originally called Esque and recorded by the Roger Kellaway
cello quartet in the 1970s. It was re-written for the bass horn, horn, and piano specifically for
Roger Bobo and Frøydis Lee Werke and premiered at the eleventh International Horn Workshop
held in Los Angeles in 1979. It was later recorded on the Prunes LP (Crystal LP126) now only