Glen Canyon Overture
by John Edmondson
John Edmondson received his BA from the University of Florida and his MM in Composition from the University of Kentucky, studying with Kenneth Wright and R. Bernard Fitzgerald.
He taught public school music in the central Kentucky region for ten years, during which he wrote extensively for his own students. At this same time, he was the staff arranger for the University of Kentucky Wildcat Marching Band, and also arranged for several other universities and regional high school marching bands. In addition to freelance composing and arranging, John was a professional trumpet player and pianist, and developed his own educational publishing firm.
Following his teaching career, he became the Educational Editor for Hansen Publications in Miami Beach, Florida, and remained in that position for ten years. He was responsible for hundreds of publications, including works for concert band, marching band, the Fun-Way Band Method (co-authored with Paul Yoder); instrumental solo books and other instructional materials. From there he went to Wisconsin as Director of Concert Band Publications for Jenson Publications, adding several new works to his growing catalog.
John became a freelance writer for seven years, during which time he contributed over three hundred publications to the catalogs of fifteen different publishers. From 1987 – 20001 he and Anne McGinty owned and operated Queenwood publications, which is now a part of the Neil A. Kjos Music Company.
John is a member of ASCAP and is listed in the International “Who’s Who In Music.”
Year of publication: 1985
Publisher: Kendor Music Inc.
Type of composition: Overture
Style: Moderate and March
Programming Suggestions: Great way to begin a concert with an overture by a world-renowned composer, John Edmondson.
Solo instruments: none
Anecdotal notes: Dynamics never surpass mezzo forte until the final measure with a forte. Trombone parts often independent from the rest or the low brass. Frequent tenor sax, bassoon, and trombone doublings. A few simple meter and key changes.
Year of publication: 1988
Publisher: Manhattan Music
Type of composition: Variation
Style: Moderate tempo
Programming suggestions: Fortress was composed in 1988 and received its premiere performance by the Batawagama Youth Camp Band in Iron County, Michigan, Donald Schleicher, conductor, on June 25, 1988.
Solo instruments: alto sax, cornet, flute, clarinet, oboe, horn.
Anecdotal notes: Section I (Beginning – measure 53): The piece begins in the percussion very quietly. All three players should be in equal balance. It is crucial that the timpani be tuned precisely as indicated. The main idea of the piece, first appearing at measure 12, dominates this section. Careful attention to balance and intonation should be given to the low brass stating the idea. Section II (measures 54 – 70): The “call motif” is developed canonically at the tritone, first as a two-part canon in tutti, then as a four-part canon by soloists. The soloists should be of equal balance. Section III (measures 71 – 107): The “legato theme” is developed through several keys, and the entire section builds gradually from piano to fortissimo. The “main idea” is recalled at measures 83 – 87 (trombones/euphonium) and at measures 96 – 99 (trumpets/horns), but it is always subordinate to the “legato theme.” At measures 100 – 106, the “legato theme” is passed from group to group, but it is always marked “bring out.” Section IV (measures 108 – 123): The “legato theme” is now in diminution over marcato chords in the low brass and low woodwinds. This evolves into a brief recollection of the main idea in tutti. The entire section must be very precise, but without losing intensity. A brief restatement of the legato theme at measures 122 – 123. Section V (CODA): Material from throughout the piece is recalled over a tonic pedal. The section begins very quietly and mysteriously, then gradually builds to the end. The conductor should not slow down too much at the poco rit. (measures 155 – 157). The first trumpets have the greatest responsibility in re-establishing the “a tempo” at measure 158. Errors in printing: Tenor Saxophone, measure 60: missing staccato dots (also missing from cues in Alto Saxophone 1)
# Horn 1 and 2, measure 93, beat 1: B flat, not B natural. Tuba, measure 109, beat 2 1/2: B natural, as in score, not D natural as in part. Bass Clarinet, measure 112, beat 3 1/2: F sharp, as in score, not F natural as in part. Alto Saxophone 1, measure 117, beat 1: Should be a dotted quarter note, not quarter note. All Horns, measure 148, beat 1: eighth note followed by eighth rest, not quarter note. Tenor Saxophone, measure 152, beat 4: Should be a Gb, not Ab. Key changes may be confusing to students. Articulations must be performed well to achieve full effect of the piece. Many musical terms are written in an odd manner (ex. soli=bring out). Repeated passages many pose a problem for students to follow.
Discography: Blue Shades:The Music of Frank Ticheli. Michigan State University Wind Symphony,
John L. Whitwell, conductor. Mark Masters.
Recording of "Glen Canyon Overture"