Concertpiece for Marimba and Wind Ensemble

This piece is published by Tapspace Publications. 

Concertpiece for Marimba and Wind Ensemble was commissioned by a consortium led by Dr. Jason Baker, percussionist and faculty member at Mississippi State University.  It was conceived as a concerto for a faculty/professional solo artist, but with an accessible accompaniment performable by high school, community, and collegiate/professional wind bands.

Although performed as a single continuous movement, the work is formally divided into three distinct sections (fast-slow-fast). The main melodic motives of each section are clearly related and prominently feature leading tone to tonic motion and syncopated rhythms. The first section, written in simultaneous 6/8 and 3/4 time signatures, presents a 32-bar song form bookended by introductory and concluding material that is distinguished by a two-against-three rhythmic accompaniment.   The second section is reminiscent of a rock-style ballad, beginning with the marimba soloist establishing the tempo and feel through the performance of a duple-meter ostinato, written to exploit the range of the five-octave instrument. The concluding section is a latin-flavored rondo, whose “A” theme includes surprise 6/8 measures interrupting the common-time flow.   A short coda reprises the introductory material of the first section, through presented in abbreviated form and modified to fit the established groove.  Stylistically, the composer’s performance in, or leadership of, school, college, and professional jazz ensembles heavily influenced the composition of Concertpiece. Any resemblance to the music of the Pat Metheny Group is purely intentional.

Consortium participants:
Ardrey Kell High School (Charlotte, NC)
Hinds Community College (Raymond, MS)
Lake Cormorant High School (Lake Cormorant, MS)
Lee High School (Wyoming, MI)
Mississippi State University (Starkville, MS)
Starkville High School (Starkville, MS)