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Program Notes by James Mikula

“The Prince of Denmark’s March” is also commonly known as “Trumpet Voluntary”. According to many sources, this piece was composed in honor of Prince George of Denmark, hence the title. This piece is often used as wedding music, and was even played at the wedding of Lady Diana Spencer and Prince Charles in 1981. Frequently played on BBC Radio during WWII, it was said to represent the connection between London and Denmark at the time. The broadcasts would often begin with the march, the announcer saying, “This is London. BBC is broadcasting to Denmark.” In the years to come, The Prince of Denmark’s March became representative of the opposition to Nazi propagation. It still is representative of liberation in Denmark. For many years, this piece was the theme of the BBC World Service. Interestingly, “Trumpet Voluntary” has been incorrectly credited to another composer of the time, Henry Purcell, a contemporary of  Jeremiah Clarke’s.

 

Kent Kennan was an American composer and music educator at the University of Texas at Austin. During WWII, he served in the United States Army as a bandmaster. He has composed many pieces for orchestra, chamber ensembles, choral ensembles, and solo instruments. The “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” is a staple of the trumpet repertoire. He is also a prolific writer in the field of musical education. His books “Counterpoint” and “The Technique of Orchestration” are commonly used in classrooms across the country.

 

Herbert L. Clarke was an American cornetist, composer, and conductor. He composed a significant portion of the standard repertoire for the cornet, and many method books for trumpet and cornet. Clarke’s incredible playing earned him a spot as a member of the famous John Phillip Sousa Band. He was also a part of the prestigious New York Philharmonic, as well as The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. “Neptune’s Court” is one of the many Clarke solos that is a standard for the cornet repertoire. Varying in tempo from very relaxed to very lively and upbeat,

 

it is an exciting piece of music to play as well as listen to. This solo shows off the performer’s ability to play very lyrically and beautifully, and in contrast, demonstrates the very rapid articulations that were demanded of a performer at any period of time.

 

Franz Joseph Haydn was one of the most productive composers of the 18th and 19th centuries. He composed many famous Symphonies, String Quartets, and Piano Sonatas. He was not known to compose many Concertos, however, his “Trumpet Concerto in Eb” remains very important to classical trumpet repertoire to this day. In 1793, the keyed trumpet was invented, making it easier for musicians to play chromatically, and all around the harmonic series. In 1796, trumpet virtuoso Anton Weidinger requested that Haydn write him a piece for the instrument.

The second movement of this three movement piece is slow and lyrical.