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Pinnacle Brass

Berry- 3 Episodes for Tuba and Piano

Berry- 3 Episodes for Tuba and Piano

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3 Episodes for Tuba and Piano is Andrew Berry’s first completed composition for the two instruments. Though it primarily features the tubist as the solo voice, the pianist plays an important role both melodically and harmonically, truly making the composition a piece of chamber music. Each of the three episodes are entirely “absolute” music. While there is no programmatic inspiration behind the piece, there is melodic and harmonic continuity among the three episodes that allow the performers to tell their own story in the larger context of the piece.

Episode I is primarily composed of a-symmetric meters (5/4 and 7/8) with subdivision groupings that are often changing. Along with the jazz-inspired rhythms, this effect creates an imbalance of time that is truly never resolved in the entirety of the movement.

Episode II is much like a fantasy, with melodic ideas flowing naturally between the two performers without focusing too heavily on the previous material. The episode is divided into three main sections, each with its own individual mood and pacing.

Episode III is the final movement of the piece and acts as a realization of the material from the previous movements. The changing subdivisions in the asymmetric meters are still present, however the melodic material is much more tonal and conclusive in its cadences. Energy and drama build up to the final minute of the piece, where a calm reminiscence of the piece’s opening material transitions into a beautiful final melody from the tubist and conclusion of epic proportions from both performers.

3 Episodes for Tuba and Piano was premiered by Nick Collins (tuba) and Dr. Eric Jenkins (piano) on April 25th, 2021 during Nick’s senior tuba recital at Kennesaw State University.

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