For Horn Solo and Piano Accompaniment
.A Well-Traveled Rhapsody is a Horn solo fit for a hero; in this case Mr. Bill Slocum. Mr. Slocum was an accomplished Horn player, a gregarious mentor, and, above all, a wonderful human being. I was lucky enough to get to know him while attending Youngstown State University in Ohio during my undergraduate study. He enriched the lives of countless DANA School of Music Students during his tenure with his encouragement, endless stories, and knowledge gained from years of worldly experiences, and was well-loved by students and faculty alike. A Well Traveled Rhapsody starts with the hero’s theme, where it morphs into several references to many famous horn lines and solos, of which I am told Mr. Slocum enjoyed on his time on earth. Some of these you may catch are a reference to Holst’s Jupiter (as he exuded Jollity), Mozart’s Jupiter (the piece he advised me to study as it has everything I’d ever need), variations of the opening to Strauss’s Horn concerto and Wagner’s Siegfried Call and , of course, Mahler 1. The middle section, while not a direct quote, alludes to the melodic horn writing of Jerry Goldsmith as heard in the Star Trek the Motion Picture Soundtrack. As the piece seems to wrap up in the last third, I tried to emulate the feeling of listening to his stories and trying to leave his office, but truthfully wanting to hear more as he’d trail on with his wonderfully interesting recollections. Finally, the hero’s theme rises up gracefully in the piano, octave by octave just as his spirit, as far as I can tell, may have risen towards the heavens upon his departure from this mortal realm. It ends on a plagal cadence because, well, of course, it does!
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