To listen while following along with the score, click here: Five Miniatures for Aspiring Brass Quintet, by Dr. Daniel Thrower - YouTube
This collection of short compositions for brass quintet was conceived specifically to supplement a dearth of appropriate and artistic original compositions for the young aspiring brass quintet. These pieces are most fitting for a good high school quintet or a beginning college ensemble that wants a conquerable challenge. With a variety of keys, styles, and tempos, they lend themselves well for deep work on the core ensemble skills of rhythmic accuracy, intonation, and dynamic balance. These brief works are also quite enjoyable for the professional quintet to perform for ever-popular school shows, or simply to read as a warmup with the focus of improving ensemble skills. Performance time for all five pieces is approximately five minutes.
“Blackhawk” (duration 0:45) was originally composed in D-sharp minor as a melody to be used in Comprehensive Trumpet Skills, Book 9: Sightreading and Transposition (p. 39). The quintet version is in concert D minor for more manageable execution. This brisk four-four work is perhaps the most difficult in the collection, with demands of multiple tonguing for all the instruments as well as fairly advanced intervallic jumps.
“Lamb of God” (duration 1:00) is one of many hymn tunes originally composed by Dr. Thrower for use in Comprehensive Trumpet Skills, Book 7: Ensemble Skills (p. 54), intended to be used to tune unisons and octaves. As a tuning study it was published in the key of F major for B-flat trumpet, or concert E-flat major. The quintet version retained the original key of concert E-flat. The reverently subdued four-four tempo makes this the easiest piece in the collection, technically, though the three core ensemble skills listed in the introductory paragraph (rhythm, intonation, and balance) must still be extensively addressed. The horn part is perhaps the most demanding in “Lamb of God,” with arpeggiated discant lines toward the end.
“Summer Solstice” (duration 1:10) was started on June 21, 2023, which was the summer solstice. It is a bright, cheerful piece in concert F major with a lot of interest in all the parts. One source of the title’s inspiration came from my family’s new situation living in Tokyo, Japan, where the dawn sky brightens around 4:00 AM on the longest days of the year, which obviously coincide with the summer solstice. The 70-second piece was completed four days after conception while the long days started at their earliest.
“Triumph: Children’s March” (duration 1:00) was the catalyst for this collection. It started as a cute little brass quintet piece in the key of concert B-flat major, to be performed for children, such as for school concerts. The cut-time tempo is very brisk for a march, but animated little legs (or a more manageable audience activity of clapping hands) can easily handle the task. Although the first trumpet part ends up on a high C, there is an alternate note for a more comfortable ending.“Waltzing Puma” (duration 0:30) is an evocative title for an evocative piece. Like “Blackhawk,” this melody was composed as a melody for Comprehensive Trumpet Skills, Book 9: Sightreading and Transposition (p. 36). The melodies in that series took on titles of military aircraft, and this one was the helicopter “Puma.” Since this tune is in a fast three-four, it became the “Waltzing Puma.” The quintet version retains the original key of concert F minor.
Gilded Music Press specializes in brass music and pedagogical materials composed and crafted by Dr. Daniel Thrower. His expertise and experience in the music world are now available in printed or PDF format for the music world's benefit.
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"You and your compositions deserve first rate ensembles, they’re that good! It’s an honor to know you and, from time to time, celebrate your wonderful accomplishments."
Dr. Daniel N. Thrower
"Gilded Music Press" was created specifically to make Dr. Daniel Thrower's high-quality music available. Dr. Thrower has been composing music and writing educational supplements for decades. He describes his music as a "personal musical journal". From his work with military ensembles to faculty and students of all ages, his music and teaching materials are created to edify audiences, professional colleagues, students, and himself. Through "Gilded Music Press" the global music community benefits from his excellent research, experience, and creative output. Many have enjoyed and benefited from his work throughout the world, and you will too once you discover his phenomenal products!