Instrumentation: Trumpet Septet
(1-2 double Piccolo Trumpet in Bb, 3 doubles Flugelhorn)
Thermal Whiplash was written for the Central Michigan University Trumpet Septet in 2019 for their performance at the 2020 National Trumpet Competition, which was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid-19 safety restrictions. The title is taken from a phrase CNN used to describe the drastic and unpredictable temperature changes that occurred throughout the Midwest in the early months of 2019. During these months, temperatures skyrocketed from frostbite-inducing subzero temperatures to much warmer spring-like temperatures, sometimes changing over 70 degrees in the span of two days.
The piece depicts this erratic phenomenon by alternating, often jarringly, between two dramatically different moods. The first mood is dark and maniacal with a ubiquitous use of dissonant harmonies and rapid double-tonguing to represent the biting cold of that winter. The second mood is patient and meditative, portraying newfound warmth through bright extended harmonies and rising modulations. Less and less time occurs between these contrasting moods until spring fully comes to light, resulting in a triumphant restatement of the latter section with the addition of bright piccolo trumpets playing ornamental material above this uplifting theme.
Premiere by the CMU Trumpet Septet – Robert Powers, Connor Schuster, Jenna Zelasko, Bridgette Tepper, Amanda Smith, Aleigha Kimsel, Jacob Chapman