Portrait of a Clown
by Frank Ticheli


Frank Ticheli (born 1958, Monroe, Louisiana) joined the faculty of the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music in 1991, where he is Professor of Composition. He is widely known for his works for concert band, many of which have become standards in the repertoire. In addition, Ticheli has a substantial body of orchestral music which has received considerable recognition in the U.S. and Europe. Orchestral performances have come from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Dallas Symphony, American Composers Orchestra, the radio orchestras of Stuttgart, Frankfurt, Saarbruecken, and Austria, and the orchestras of Austin, Charlotte, Colorado, Haddonfield, Harrisburg, Hong Kong, Jacksonville, Long Island, Louisville, Lubbock, Memphis, Nashville, Omaha, Phoenix, Portland, Richmond, San Antonio, San Jose, and others. From 1991 to 1998, Ticheli was Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and he still enjoys a close working relationship with that orchestra and their conductor, Carl St. Clair. Awards for his music include two from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Walter Beeler Memorial Prize, and First Prize awards in the Texas Sesquicentennial Orchestral Composition Competition, Britten-on-the-Bay Choral Composition Contest, and Virginia CBDNA Symposium for New Band Music. Commissions and grants have come from Chamber Music America, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Chorale, Revelli Foundation, Kappa Kappa Psi, Prince George’s Philharmonic Orchestra, Adrian Symphony, City of San Antonio, Stephen F. Austin State University, University of Michigan, University of Miami, Trinity University, Indiana Bandmasters Association, Worldwide Concurrent Premieres, and others. Frank Ticheli received his doctoral and masters degrees in composition from The University of Michigan where he studied with William Albright, Leslie Bassett, William Bolcom, and George Wilson. His works are published by Manhattan Beach, Helicon, Hinshaw, and Encore Music, and are recorded on the labels of Koch International Classics, Albany, Klavier, and Mark Records.

Year of publication: 1989

Publisher: Manhattan Music

Grade: 3

Type of composition: Ternary

Style: fast with flowing section in middle

Programming suggestions: The piece was scored in such a way as to permit performances by bands lacking sufficient depth in low woodwinds and low brass; therefore, those band directors who do have enough of these instruments should take great care in not allowing them to overpower the others. Special thanks to Donald S. George and the University of Wisconsin­Eau Claire Symphony Band, who provided the initial recording of the piece, and to Cheryl Floyd and the Murchison Middle School Matador Band, who gave the work its premier performance at the Murchison Middle School Annual Spring Concert on May 26, 1988 in Austin, Texas.

Solo instruments: none

Anecdotal notes: Semi-score. Tenor sax and horn are on same staff, low winds and tuba. Muted cornet parts, but it is optional. Large dynamic range, from piano to fortissimo. Use of staccato and accents and agogic accents many make it difficult for students. Has tambourine and woodblock in percussion parts. Melody is based on the Lydian mode.

Discography: Teaching Music Through Performance In Band Vol. 1

Recording of "Portrait of a Clown"