Based on themes and motives from the hymn "Lord, I'm Coming Home," this lovely work for euphonium and percussion quintet was commissioned by euphonium player Christian Folk to celebrate to the life of his grandmother, Virginia. The percussion plays a purely accompanimental & colorful role to the long lyrical lines of the euphonium throughout.
Winner of the 2014 Int'l Tuba-Euphonium Association Harvey Phillips Award for Excellence in Composition (Euphonium in a Solo Role)
Genre: Solo Euphonium with Percussion Ensemble | # of Players: 5 + Solo
Level: Medium | Duration: 9:00
Bells & Crotales (2 octaves)
Vibraphone (3 or 3.5-octave)
Percussion (4 Timpani, Concert Bass Drum, Wind Chimes, Suspended Cymbal)
Originally commissioned by euphonium player Christian Folk for euphonium and piano, Coming Home takes its title from the hymn “Lord, I’m Coming Home” by William Kirkpatrick – a favorite of his grandmother, Virginia Busbee. Melodic motives from the hymn can be found throughout the piece, with one full statement toward the end.
The work divides into three major sections:
Fear & Anxiety
The unaccompanied euphonium at the beginning poignantly captures the feeling of being lost and alone. Even with the sparse interjections of the percussion ensemble, those anxious feelings are still difficult to overcome. As this section unfolds, there is a sense coming to a climax, but the music quickly dies back down, smoothly transitioning into the next section.
Courage & Strength
Climbing fifths and quartal harmonies characterize this section, combined with a stronger statement of the thematic material from the opening of the piece. A grandiose climax is achieved before moving into the final section of the piece.
Peace, Acceptance & Hope
Ascending figures in the vibraphone create an ethereal backdrop for the only full statement of the hymn. Christian’s grandmother’s name, Virginia, is uttered as a serial musical figure in the orchestra bells. This figure eventually becomes a music box-like accompaniment tinkering in the bells and vibraphone. Motives from the opening ensemble statements, combined with the falling-third “Coming Home” motive, help bring the work to a peaceful conclusion.
A recording of this version of Coming Home may be found on Brian Meixner and Nathan Daughtrey’s album of euphonium/percussion music, “Praxis,” available from Potenza Music.
The original version for euphonium and piano is available from C. Alan Publications (Item #19040).