Concerto for Baritone Saxophone

Instrumentation: Baritone Saxophone and Piano/String Orchestra

Duration: 18’00”

Purchase (Piano Reduction)

Purchase (String Orchestra Version)

Program Note:

Concerto for Baritone Saxophone is a three movement neoclassical work written in 2018. The three movements utilize traditional classical forms: the sonata, rounded binary, and rondo forms, respectively, and feature harmonies and melodic phrases similarly indicative of the classical era. The piece shows off the versatility and different personalities of the baritone saxophone, from mellow and pure lyricism to powerful and commanding aggression. The piece also explores the baritone saxophone’s different registers, employing a range from the lowest note on the instrument to the upper echelon of the altissimo register.

Though the piece is divided into three movements, several motives, themes, and harmonic progressions reappear throughout. The piece contains two five-note motifs that are introduced in succession as the baritone saxophone’s first statement of the opening cadenza. The first motif is an ascending arpeggio and the second motif is a step-wise mordent centering around one note. These motifs are used both melodically and accompanimentally and are applied to the various contexts of the different movements. The piece also features a principal harmonic progression, from the tonic (I or i) triad to the submediant (vi or VI) triad. This progression is similarly manipulated to fit different musical contexts and is used to create non-diatonic harmonies, bitonal polychords, and even dictate tonal centers of larger sections of the piece as a whole.

A special thank you to Taylor Huitema and the 31 other members of the consortium commission who not only helped initiate this project, but also provided invaluable feedback on the piece along the way.

Consortium Members:

Taylor Huitema, Consortium Director, Central Michigan University

Christian Amonson, Los Angeles, CA
Jarrett Barr, University of Akron
Sadie Cochrane, Oklahoma State University
Mia Gazley, University of Florida
Chase Griffin, Western Michigan University
Joshua Haugen, Western Michigan University
Danny Hawthorne-Foss, Ann Arbor, MI
Lauren Horning, Central Michigan University
Li-Chun Hsiao, Taipei, Taiwan
Kyrstin Jensen, Royal Oak, MI
Elizabeth King, University of Iowa
Robert Krueger, Eastern Michigan University
Michael Lee, Central Michigan University
Will Marchetti, Michigan State University
Sean Meyers, University of Texas – Austin
Mike Nguyen, University of Texas – Arlington. Adjunct Professor of Saxophone
John Nichol, Central Michigan University, Professor of Saxophone
Doug Owens, University of Tennessee – Martin, Professor of Saxophone
Rick Owens, Charlotte, NC
Reynaldo Palacios, Mundelein High School, IL
Anthony Pellegrini, Port Chester, NY
Kyle Pokropowicz, Central Michigan University
AJ Pratt, University of Arizona
Kendall Ramsey, University of Southern Mississippi
Sarah Roberts, University of Texas – Tyler, Professor of Saxophone
Justin Rollefson, Phoenix College, Adjunct Professor of Saxophone
Maycee Spence, University of Wyoming
Joshua Thomas, Connecticut College, Professor of Saxophone
Joseph Trevino, Texas State University
Josh Tuttle, University of South Carolina
Matthew Younglove, Wayne State University, Professor of Saxophone