Newly Commissioned Music for Brass and Organ

Our ensemble has made a significant contribution by contracting both established and rising composers to write original music for organ and brass.

carlyle_web3Carlyle Sharpe “Prelude, Elegy and Scherzo”

Prelude, Elegy and Scherzo was commissioned by the Chicago Gargoyle Brass for the 2012 Organ Historical Society National Convention in Chicago.  When I was first approached by Rodney Holmes, the original request was for a slow movement in which the organ’s colors could be featured.  I suggested a multi-movement work with the slow movement at the center.  The resulting work is one that has a dual function: it can be performed in a concert or sacred setting, the Prelude and Scherzo functioning as a prelude and postlude, and the Elegy is appropriate for the communion or offertory.  [Notes by composer] (ECS Publishing)



Carlyle Sharpe “Flourishes”

Flourishes was commissioned by Drury University on the occasion of the inauguration of its 15th president.  An optional timpani part was later added at the request of the Chicago Gargoyle Brass for use in a competition.  The work has been performed frequently at Easter and Christmas and has been a part of the Christmas and the Washington Chorus concerts at The Kennedy Center. [Notes by composer]  (ECS Publishing)

William White “The Dwarf Planets”

Commissioned by and dedicated to Rodney Holmes and the Gargoyle Brass Quintet

Dwarf planets are those celestial objects in the solar system that revolve around the sun but do not have sufficient mass to be considered planets.  The most famous case is Pluto, for 80 years considered a planet it in its own right and re-­‐classified in 2006 to “dwarf planet” status. This piece was inspired by the renowned set of tone poems The Planets by Gustav Holst. As in Holst’s work, each movement seeks to represent the mythological god or goddess whose name is associated with the celestial body in question. [Notes by composer]


David Marlatt “Earthscape”

Donated and inscribed by the composer for the Chicago Gargoyle Brass

Full-time composer David Marlatt (b. 1973) is well known in his native Canada for popular compositions and arrangements for school orchestra and wind band, competition British Brass Band, and all standard solo and ensembles of brass and woodwind instruments. Conceiving of a series of “Scapes” pieces reflecting his reverence for nature, Mr. Marlatt embarked on this project with “Earthscape,” to be followed by sea, land, and sky.

 “Earthscape is a lyrical piece inspired by the view of our planet from space. In the silent, black vacuum of space exists this bright blue planet, slowly rotating, giving astronauts a serene and breathtaking view of the only source of life in our solar system.” (Frontispiece by the composer)

Peter Meechan “Velvet Blue”

(b. 1980) is a British-born, Canada-based composer whose music has been played by some of the finest wind and brass bands in the world. With more than 80 CD credits to his name, he has been commissioned, recorded, and performed by artists including Jens Lindemann OC, Bramwell Tovey, Ryan Anthony, Steven Mead, and The Band of the Coldstream Guards. Meechan currently holds the position of “Musical Associate” with the famous Fodens Brass Band, UK.

To explore new territory for brass and organ, the Chicago Gargoyle Brass approached Peter Meechan to write a piece for rock organ and brass. Indeed, when played on a two manual Hammond or modern keyboard, this piece rocks! But nothing matches a pipe organ. Best heard in his native Manchester accent, Pete’s performance requests were simple: “Rodney, I only need two things from this piece: number one hit all the right organ notes, and number two play those brass notes dirty!”