A Frontier Fought and a City Found

I was honored to be asked by friend and colleague Drew Fennell to write for the River City Youth Brass Band.  They will present “A Frontier Fought and A City Found” on May 31, 2009 of this year.  The piece is a historical sonic potrait of the battles fought between the British and the French during the 1750’s around Pittsburgh.  You can read all of the program notes about it by clicking here.  I had the opportunity to meet several of the groups members at the Diocesean Honor Band Festival in January and over this past week at the PMEA Region Band held at Ambridge.  I am eagerly looking forward to this debut.  Drew is a great musician, and it is an honor to have him wave the stick and bring this music to life with such a great group of kids.  I chuckled out loud after seeing one of the French Horn students’ sweatshirt last Thursday.  It read –  “Rive City Youth Brass Band: Real Heavy Metal”.  This is going to be awesome!  My thanks to Drew for his musical guidance in orchestration, and to my neighbor Dr. Daniel Barr for the books and resource information he provided!

Additionally, I recently received a recording of Pirates!, a multi-movement work that will be available from FJH in the Summer of 2009.  The recording is from the Nassau Division 4 Honor Band that Drew conducted back in January.  If you get the chance, click here to here this group of freshmen and sophomores swashbuckling away!  The students did a wonderful job under Drew’s conducting.  My thanks to Drew and the Directors who programmed this piece for their festival!

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  1. Travis,

    I’m thinking you can embed some of the links from your music sites into your blog. You should do this for a number of your pieces… let me know if you need help.

  2. The first reading of “Frontier Fought…” went just fine. I hope the kids are jazzed about it – not only about the piece itself, but the idea that they get to play notes that have never been played before (at least not in that order). It’s hard to tell sometimes with these guys (too much ritalin or something!). I’m looking forward to the journey. This will be the first time I’ve worked a group up on a new work that wasn’t my own; so hopefully I’ll be able to ask you the right questions and get the result you’re looking for. I’ll get you a rehearsal recording when things start coming together a bit.


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