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I Hear Him!

For the Maestro

Frederick Fennell is one of my most beloved musical heroes. Since the very first time I saw him work with a high school honor band, and with every ensemble since, I was struck by his exuberant love for music and music-making.

In December of 2004 I was filled with sadness learning of his passing. Our profession had lost a musical icon and the founding father of our modern wind ensemble.

I Hear Him! is a musical farewell to a lost hero. I have utilized motives from pieces that affected me deeply as I watched the maestro at work. These experiences touched my heart and changed my life as a musician. He inspired me in so many ways both as a performer and as a conductor. I continue to look to him for inspiration even though he has left this earth.

The musical motives come from Bach's Come Sweet Death, Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, Holst's First Suite in E-flat, and Fennell's own The Drummer's Heritage. The motives are threaded throughout the composition as I attempt to create a tapestry of sound that reminds us of Maestro Fennell's many memorable moments.

The title, I Hear Him!, comes from the story that his daughter told of his last words before his death. He said that he was frustrated because there was no drummer. She told him that heaven's best drummer was on the way. Shortly he proclaimed, "I hear him, I hear him, I'm OK now." Those were his last words.

As wind band conductors and musicians…we will always hear him. To the Maestro.


Available directly from the composer.

…and the antelope play

Winner—2007 College Band Directors National Association Young Band Composition Contest

My tone poem, …and the antelope play, depicts the transformation through time of the Antelope Valley—from ancient times, to the eventual displacement of the Native American culture, to modern times. The work considers both geographical and cultrueal aspects in its musical portrayal of the vast and beautiful high desert of California.

The title is taken from the 19th century song, Home on the Range, specifically from the line, "Where the deer and the antelope play," although you will not hear the song except in some melodic fragments. The thematic material of the music is based solely upon these fragments and word association from the song. Although well hidden, you may find the themes more readily by word association than by melodic association.

…and the antelope play is a through-composed tone poem in eight sections, played without pause, with each section bearing a descriptive verse from my poem:


Published by Manhattan Beach Music—Grade 3

Centennial Celebration Fanfare

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the Long Beach Municipal Band
Centennial Celebration Fanfare is dedicated to the Long Beach Municipal Band and its conductor, Mr. Larry Curtis, in honor of the 100th anniversary of its debut on March 14, 1909.

The piece is a celebratory fanfare reminiscent of cresting waves, warm ocean breezes and the flourish of sails along the coastline of Long Beach, California. The continual rise and fall of the tide, like the music itself, brings with it the excitement and optimism of another sunny day by the sea. The Long Beach Municipal Band has entertained the citizens of Long Beach for 100 years and the Centennial Celebration Fanfare is a "thank you" to the musicians and conductors of this great band both past and present. The city of Long Beach is privileged to have the Municipal Band as part of their rich heritage and we hope to enjoy the band's summer evening concerts for millennia to come.


Published by C. Alan Publications—Grade 5+

A Dream of Coming Home

Dedicated to those in service to our country stationed afar

A Dream of Coming Home was written and dedicated to all of those in service to our country stationed away from their homeland. The piece depicts the dream-like thoughts that run through the mind as you reminisce about all that is dear to the heart: A stroll down a familiar street, writing a letter to loved-ones, the sight of brothers, sisters, mother and father, holding sons and daughters, birds chirping a familiar tune, the scent of a summer rainstorm, the glorious first glimpse of home upon return, and the peaceful smile of a comforting final thought…

Thank you to all who give of themselves to preserve our freedom. Godspeed…


Published by C. Alan Publications—Grade 3