Sonata for Tomorrow (for Trumpet and Piano)

Instrumentation: Trumpet (in Bb or C), Flugelhorn (Opt.), Piccolo Trumpet in A and Piano

Duration: 18’00”

Purchase – Murphy Music Press

Program Note:

‘Sonata for Tomorrow’ was written in 2020 for Sam Gustavson and a consortium of 23 trumpet players as a response to the Coronavirus pandemic. The piece is divided into three movements entitled ‘Chaos’, ‘Solitude’, and ‘Bloom’, which depict different feelings and emotions felt during this time, both on a global scale as well as Sam’s personal experience working in a pharmacy during the pandemic and contracting the virus.

‘Chaos’ portrays the sudden and extreme adjustments to the early stages of the virus, with schools and businesses shutting down, events being cancelled, offices finding ways to allow employees to work from home, and what felt like the whole world standing still as everyone went into quarantine indefinitely. The movement musically depicts this craziness and unpredictability through constant meter changes, driving rhythms, and a through-composed form with abrupt shifts between sections.

The second movement, ‘Solitude’, represents the feeling of isolation and loneliness felt by most during this time and recounts Sam’s two weeks quarantining in his apartment after testing positive for the virus. This movement uses the perfect fifth interval to illustrate this seclusion through hollow, quintal harmonies in the piano and as a principal motif in the meandering, often static trumpet melody. The solo material in this movement is primarily played on flugelhorn, giving the material a darker, more restrained timbre.

‘Bloom’, the final movement of the sonata, is an optimistic end to the piece that represents our society’s resilience as we adapt to and overcome the difficult time the pandemic put us in. The movement shows the world slowly coming back to life through bright lydian harmonies and ascending melodic material, both as fragmented motifs and as building blocks to longer phrases. The piece ends triumphantly with variations of pre-existing material played by the shimmering sound of the piccolo trumpet.

Consortium Members:

  • Sam Gustavson, Consortium Director, Oklahoma City University
  • Forrest Albano, Southern Methodist University
  • Michael Barkett, Michigan State University
  • Professor Micah Bell, Tyler Junior College
  • David Bernard, Battle Creek Symphony Orchestra
  • Ryan Brewer, U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own”
  • John M. Callahan, Detroit, MI
  • Matthew Collins, Sydney, Australia
  • Alexander Floury, Anchor Bay High School
  • Steven Garcia, Minneapolis, MN
  • Matthew Garrett, Battle Creek, MI
  • Andrew Jensen, Royal Oak, MI
  • Connor Johnson, Michigan State University
  • David Cookie Koch, Flint Symphony Orchestra/Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra
  • Maximillian McNutt, Boulder Symphony
  • Dr. Ryan Noe, Northeastern University
  • Bronson Pascual, Honolulu, HI
  • Robert Powers, Central Michigan University
  • Jacob Rushlow, Eastern Michigan University
  • Jason A. Taurins, Benson, AZ
  • Amy Thomas, U.S. Army Old Guard Fife and Drum Corps
  • Nate VanderWerf, Grand Rapids, MI
  • Keith W. Walker, Holland, MI
  • Dr. Robert White, Western Michigan University