Commissioned for performance at the 2016 Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, Twitch is a driving, 6-minute showpiece for solo B-flat clarinet and band, which marries syncopated, rhythmic excitement with lush, romantic lyricism.
Genre: Solo B-flat Clarinet & Band | # of Players: Standard + Solo
Level: Ensemble 4 / Solo 5 | Duration: 6:00
Solo B-flat Clarinet
B-flat Clarinet 1
B-flat Clarinet 2
B-flat Clarinet 3
B-flat Bass Clarinet
Alto Saxophone 1
Alto Saxophone 2
B-flat Trumpet 1
B-flat Trumpet 2
F Horn 1
F Horn 2
Timpani & Slapstick
Percussion 1 (Xylophone, Vibraphone)
Percussion 2 (Snare Drum, Bongos, Ribbon Crash or Cymbal Stack, Claves)
Percussion 3 (Hi-Hat, 4 Concert Toms, Wind Chimes, Suspended Cymbal, Temple Blocks)
Percussion 4 (Concert Bass Drum, Tam-Tam)
Twitch was commissioned by DC Tour & Travel (Jon Locke, CEO) for the Spring High School Wind Ensemble (Spring, Texas), directed by Gabe Musella, for performance at the 70th Annual Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic (Chicago, Illinois) with guest clarinet soloist Sasha Potiomkin of the Houston Symphony. Tasked with writing a piece for virtuosic solo clarinet, an occasional featured clarinet quartet, and band with active, grooving percussion parts presented a fun challenge. I approached the piece much like Baroque solo concerto with elements of the concerto grosso, alternating between the tutti ensemble and solo sections that don’t always have much to do with one another thematically.
Sometimes the solo clarinet is accompanied by the full ensemble, but mostly it is joined by a clarinet quartet made of three B-flat soprano clarinets and one B-flat bass clarinet, resulting in a nice homogeneous ensemble (like a string quartet). The connecting thread for the piece ends up being the percussion section, who behave much like a percussion quintet, echoing rhythmic motives heard in both the full ensemble and the solo parts. The excitement from beginning to end is palpable. Even in the calmer sections, fast, syncopated motives are thrown around the percussion section to keep the drive alive.
1) The three clarinet section parts (including the soli clarinet quartet) are all on the same part in score format so you have unlimited flexibility as to which players participate in the soli sections of the piece.
2) Each of the percussion parts is playable by one person. However, an extra copy of each is included in case you want to divide them.
3) The Percussion 2 and 3 parts are basically multiple percussion parts. The performers should plan their set-ups carefully to move efficiently from one instrument to the next.
4) The Percussion 4 part calls for Bass Drum. If a Concert Bass Drum is used, please follow the instructions carefully to dampen with towel and remove towel. The performer also has the option to use a Kick Bass Drum laid flat or a Multi-Bass Drum in place of the dampened Concert Bass Drum. You will still need an undampened Concert Bass from m. 108 through m. 129.