Band Pieces

Wind Ensemble
 

GRADE 1

 

Broken Trumpets

Commissioned by The North Shore Primary Schools Band Festival 2018

This riotous crowd- pleaser weaves an entire piece around a single trumpet phrase that repeats over and over again. You see the trumpets are broken, they can only play one phrase.  Do the trumpet find a solution to this problem?  You will have to wait till the end to find out.

 

Cold Night Air

Commissioned by The North Shore Primary Schools Band Festival 2018

GRADE 1.5

All Aboard

Commissioned by The North Shore Primary Schools Band Festival 2018

GRADE 2

Take Me To The Chapel

Commissioned by Barker College Junior School Band 2011

Shortly after  being appointed to the Barker College staff as the Composer- in- Residence I directed the Junior School Concert Band for a number of years. Rehearsals were every Wednesday morning and and we had to make sure that we stopped on the dot of 8:20am so that the students could get to their weekly chapel service by 8:30.  This became such a ritual I composed a fun piece that we played at the end of each rehearsal - of course, it had to be called 'Take Me To The Chapel'

William of Orange March

Commissioned by Barker College Junior School Band 2011

Winner of NSW State School Band Festival composition prize

This march celebrates the heroic efforts of William of Orange during World War II.  William was indeed a war hero … he was also a pigeon.  William served as a member if the Army Pigeon Service during the war and his efforts successfully saved the lives of countless servicemen.  In 1944 William was despatched from the Arnhem Airborne Operation with an important message.  He successfully delivered this message in record time to his home loft in England.  William flew some 260 miles, many over the open sea, in 4 hours and 25 minutes.  His average speed was just under 60 miles per hour.

 

Pigeons provided a vital means of communication during the war and William’s efforts established him as one of the greatest feathered war heroes of all time.

 

In 1945 William was awarded the Dickens Medal – the equivalent of the Victoria Cross for animals.

GRADE 2.5

Call of the King

Circus Rondo

Flying Reverend Flynn

Shake a Little Bit

GRADE 3

ANZAC Suite

Commissioned by the NSW Band Association as the C Grade Test piece for the 2015 National Band Championships. 

 

In 2015 the Association commemorated the centenary of the ANZAC’s fateful landing on the beaches of Gallipoli at the National Band Championships by commissioning a number of works by Australia composers.  Each work was to represent an aspect of ANZAC but in an attempt to create musical diversity and to avoid all new works portraying the solemnity of the ANZAC experience, the composers were encouraged to present a personal account of what ANZAC Day means to them.  

 

 I chose to musically represent the frantic hustle and bustle that occurs in my family home each and every ANZAC Day.  Both my younger son Jack and myself are trombonists, while my elder son Tom is a trumpet player.  Our family life on ANZAC Day is quite chaotic as we all race off to perform at our respective Dawn Services, street marches and commemorative services.    

 

In this work you will hear the business of our family life interspersed with hymn like chorales that represent the music often associated with ANZAC ceremonies.

Ceremonial Fanfare and Processional

Commissioned by the NSW Band Association as the C Grade Test piece for the 2015 National Band Championships. 

GRADE 4

 

A Spider's Tale

Above The Clouds

Above the Clouds is a new work composed by a swimming pool on the Gold Coast in December 2015.  Often when relaxed and the stress levels drop, inspiration can strike.  This was certainly the case with this work.  The music literally just flowed and the greatest challenge was to get the notes down on paper before they disappeared into thin air. 

 

While technically and rhythmically challenging for all performers, this is a fun work that sounds like a holiday.  Above the Clouds is where we should all aspire to be, free from the pressures and stresses of our normal working lives. 

Alto Whirlwind w/ Solo Alto Sax

Encore Suite - w/ Solo Trombone

Kosciuszko

Thaddeus Kosciuszko was an outstanding military commander and strategist who fought for freedom not only in his native Poland against the Russians in the late 18th Century, but also in his adopted America during the War of Independence.  To this day he is considered a Polish national hero and the fondness for which he is held in the United States is evident in Mississippi’s city and Indiana’s county that share his name.  In 1840 Paul Strezlecki, the Polish-born explorer who first climbed the Australia Alps named its highest peak, Mount Kosciuszko.

This composition reflects three aspects of the life of Kosciuszko.  After some plaintive themes reminiscent of Polish folk tunes, the first section represents Kosciuszko’s battle for freedom in his native homeland against the Russians and Prussians. 

The second section of the work represents Kosciuszko’s American experience.  The music is open, free and hopeful, representing the ‘New World’.  Kosciuszko served with distinction in Washington’s army and was instrumental in the success of many battles including the blockade of Charleston and the victory at Saratoga. 

The final section of the work is a ‘climb to the summit’ making direct reference to the journey undertaken by thousands of tourists each year when they endeavour to climb Australia’s highest peak.   While this section refers directly to Australia’s Mount Kosciuszko, the themes of struggle, striving and toil could easily represent the life of Thaddeus Kosciuszko and his endless dedication to the fight for human liberty and freedom.

Mugungwha Train

The work takes its audience on a musical journey aboard the Korean ‘Bullet’ train – the Mugungwha Train.   The tempo and energy are relentless while the rhythmic intensity of the wind and percussion instruments expresses the drive and power of the train.  As the work progresses the themes and flowing harmonic progressions conjure images of both metropolitan and rural scenes.   It is a fast paced journey from beginning to end that draws on all the tone colours and dynamics range of the symphonic wind band.   

 

It’s now time to take your seats, buckle up and enjoy the ride!!

Narrabeen Hustle - w/ Solo Piano

Narrabeen Hustle began its life as an annoying theme that pounded through my head during one of my regular runs along Narrabeen Beach.  Refusing to leave me for the entirety of the run, I felt compelled to make good of the uncomfortable situation by developing the persistent theme into a work for solo piano.  The resulting work was ‘Narrabeen Hustle’. 

 

The theme, combined with jazzy harmonies and an unrelenting and highly energetic tempo produced a work that is infectiously fun and appealing to both performers and audience members. 

 

Resulting from a I conversation I had with Andrew McWade - Head of Bands at Barker College, it was decided that a reworking of the piece for solo piano and wind band would make a great final work or encore piece for an otherwise ‘serious’ concert program.  The light-hearted nature of this whirlwind of a composition in conjunction with the virtuosic demands of the soloist and ensemble members make this piece an immediate ’hit’ with its audiences.  ‘Narrabeen Hustle’ will leave you as breathless as I was following the torment the theme caused me while running along the sands of Narrabeen.

Stomp - w/ Solo Trumpet

‘Stomp is a flashy and exciting work that is equally perfect to open or close your recital program. A crowd pleaser from the first to the last notes and great fun to play’ 

 

Richard Stoelzel – Trumpet Professor, McGill University, Montreal, Canada.

 

 

‘Stomp’ was commissioned as the ‘Test’ piece for the 1st annual World Association of Trumpet Seminar Solo Competition held in Meppen, Germany in 2015.  Commissioned by Richard Stoelzel (Professor of Trumpet and Chair of Brass at McGill University, Montreal, Canada)

 

‘Stomp’ is a wild romp for solo trumpet and wind band that captures the spirit and raw energy of the traditional dance music of Ireland.  From the first bar to the last, this rhythmically complex work is a technical blast for both soloist and ensemble.  Originally this work was composed as a test piece for an International Trumpet Competition held in Meppen, Germany in 2015.  While there are extended sections of high intensity throughout the piece, the ‘catchy’ melodies are immediately accessible and there are occasions where the themes portray much beauty through their simplicity.

 

‘Stomp’ has subsequently been orchestrated for solo trumpet and wind ensemble and has been recorded for a new CD featuring Richard Stoelzel, Rex Richardson and the Grand Valley State University Wind Symphony, due for release early 2016.

GRADE 5

Concerto for Two Trumpets

Eugenia's Secret

 

Eugenia Falleni was born in Florence, Italy and emigrated to New Zealand and later to Australia in 1877 … but this is not her secret.

 

As a member of the Sydney underworld of the early 20th Century Eugenia Falleni became a convicted murderer … but again, this is not her secret.

 

Eugenia’s great secret is that she lived, worked, dressed and even married as … a man named Harry Crawford.

 

As Harry Crawford, Eugenia had a troubled life.  She experienced great periods of loneliness and her life was full of unrest, conflict and broken personal relationships which ultimately ended in his (her) conviction of the murder of wife Annie Birkett.  

 

Eugenia’s life represents a time in Sydney’s past when an undercurrent of darkness swept across the city.  This musical work seeks to represent the life and times of Eugenia Falleni with its street themes, jazz music and dixieland bands, as well as its moments of deep melancholy and exultation.  It is a musical journey through some of Sydney’s darkest and most seedy history, bearing no resemblance to the picture- perfect postcards of the glistening harbour with its imposing bridge and Opera House.

 

Eugenia’s Secret is a major work for wind ensemble that places great technical and musical demands on all performers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brass Band
 

Serenade - Trumpet/ Brass Band -

 

 

 

Moreton Bay Variations - Tuba/ Brass Band -

 

 

Concert Gallop - Bb Solo/ Brass Band -

 

 

Encore Suite - Euphonium / piano -

 

 

Pastorale - Trombone/ Brass Band -

Drawing on this historic combination of instruments, Collins set about creating a new work that explores the tonal qualities of the trombone and string instruments.  ‘Pastorale’ is a true pastorale that seeks to portray a rural setting through music and the truly sonorous tone of the trombone helps to convey the image of wide-open spaces.   The work is tuneful and full of rich harmonies that should immediately appeal to all audiences.