brass ensemble, with optional percussion  (2002, 2004)  2′ each

published by Sweet Child Music

“…a great opportunity for the brass to shine.”

Ken Andrews, The Syracuse Post-Standard, 1/25/05

One of the major dictums of being a composer is: Never write a piece just to enter into a composition contest.  I broke this rule when I wrote these two fanfares.  A band in Texas has a yearly contest for short brass fanfares to play in the lobby before their concerts.  In 2002, I had never written a fanfare before, and thought it would be fun to write one.  But because I didn’t want to invest too much of myself in the gambit, I set a two-day limit to write the piece.  Unfortunately, Fanfaronade did not win the contest; oh well, at least I ended up with a utilitarian fanfare.

Two years later, I decided to try again with Tantarara; that didn’t win either.  So now I’ve got two short fanfares; some day I’ll turn it into a suite by adding a slow middle movement (which I won’t enter into the contest!).  “Fanfaronade” is an old French word, meaning “an instance of boisterous and blustery language.”  “Tantarara” is an old English word that imitates the sound of trumpets and drums; Thomas Jefferson used it in one of his letters to disparage his political opponents: “Sing Tantarara, rogues all, rogues all!”

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