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Girls Seika Band and Boston Brass Perform New Commission

by Boston Brass and the Girls Seika Band

Composers Thoughts on Commission
Rick DeJonge

The piece “Introduction and Vivace” is a Grade 5 work for brass quintet and wind ensemble. There is one main theme and one secondary theme which are used throughout the piece. The main theme can be heard in motifs in the introduction and then in its entirety (8 measures) by the solo brass quintet. The overall idea of the composition was to create a fast and exciting piece for both the quintet and the wind ensemble, while featuring a simple melody. This, combined with a rich set of textures and colors, will hopefully captivate the listener from beginning to end.

Because I have written several pieces for the Boston Brass, it was much easier to determine where and how to show off their ability and virtuosity. The challenge was including this incredible wind ensemble from Japan, not only as accompaniment, but as an additional featured group. A theme and variations model worked well to share ideas between the groups, as well as create a sort of “song within a song.” Because the Seika High School Girls Band uses harp, double bass and eight outstanding percussionists, I was able to utilize more colors within the variations, while keeping true to the theme. The percussionists are kept pretty busy most of the time playing a variety of toys and keyboards. My favorite part is the “funk” section, which started out as a simple transition. I decided to expand the section, turning the ensemble and brass quintet into a Big Band, with an intense driving groove.

While most of the work sounds like it belongs in a fast paced action movie, there is a short section which slows down to allow for some intimate woodwind playing with harp and keyboards. While the composition is written in 4/4, there are several instances of 6/8 and 7/8, to add variance to the melody. “Introduction and Vivace” was fun to write and will (hopefully) be fun to play. The premiere by Boston Brass and the Seika High School Girls Band at the 2010 Midwest Clinic should be fantastic and a whole lot of fun!