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New Arrangement - Romance in F Minor by Tchaikovsky

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With Gratitude to Harold T. Brasch

The late Harold T. Brasch was a great influence on my playing. When I was in high school I had never heard a professional euphoniumist, so I didnt have a very good concept of sound. Then in my senior year our band invited Harold Brasch to be our guest soloist. In anticipation, the band director played one of his records for us. I listened to more of the record during some study hall periods and paid close attention to the way he played Hungarian Melodies. I was playing that piece for solo contest, and I was amazed at how much better his tone was than mine (right from the first note). I worked hard to emulate that sound, which wasnt easy (or successful) on my bell-front King. But my tone improved. It was even a better lesson when I heard him live. I bought the LP and pretty much memorized the sound of every piece on it.

In my early days with The U.S. Coast Guard Band I decided it would be fun to play a solo. Having played the Mozart bassoon concerto for my senior college recital just a couple years earlier, I arranged the first movement for a wind ensemble accompaniment and talked the boss into programming it. It was great fun to play it and it went pretty well.

Then I thought it would be fun to try something different. Naturally I remembered my record of Harold Brasch performing some of his favorite solos, and on that record was Concert Polka. That was my choice for my second solo, so I ordered the band arrangement from Harolds publishing company. This is a triple-tonguing showcase set in a light polka form and it is a sure hit for the audience. Since that arrangement is no longer published, I did my own rendition of Concert Polka a couple years ago.

When ordering Concert Polka I included a note with the order, and Harold sent a nice response along with the music. He also included the solo part to the Tchaikovsky Romance in F minor as a little gift. I played it during my practice and really liked the melody. As the title implies, and as one would expect from Tchaikovsky, it offers a rich, flowing melody that is immediately attractive to the audience and player alike. Now, almost 40 years later, I decided it was time to produce a solo with piano arrangement of this fine piece.

It is finished now and in the hands of my publisher, Cimarron Music Press. As I am writing this it is not on the website yet, but it should be on display at the Cimarron Music booth at the Army Band Conference. Look it over - I think youll like it!