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This work, a rollicking Latin-jazz dance movement, was written for my daughter, Abby (a flute major at West Chester University), for her senior recital. Abby is a Disney "freak," so I thought it fitting to use as generative material for this piece two quotes from iconic Disney melodies, "When You Wish Upon a Star," and "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes." Both melodies are treated to a host of contemporary compositional manipulations throughout (the melodies or parts thereof become tone rows, sets, cantus firmi, etc.), never actually appearing in their overt forms. Nonetheless, these tune fragments are enough a part of the DNA of the piece that the listener should sense their presence at some point..."like a bolt out of the blue"! To see/hear a performance of Bolt Out of the Blue, CLICK HERE. Published by Trillenium Music Company.
Be My Hands and Feet
For SATB Choir and Piano (with optional Clarinet and French Horn obligato parts). Commissioned and first performed by the Holy Trinity R.C. Church (Egypt, PA) Choir, Christine Lerew, Director. Text by Mary Louise Bringle, copyright GIA.
For two trumpets, two trombones, organ, and timpani. A rousing instrumental anthem for Eastertime. Published by Trillenium Music Company. The sound clip excerpt is a MIDI realization.
Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra
Although Neo-Romantic in mood, this showpiece for trumpet and orchestra acknowledges Baroque concerti practices as well as stylistic elements of popular music such as "be-bop" jazz and dance rhythms. First performed by the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, Luis Biava, Music Director, with trumpet soloist Terell Stafford (Oct 2001, Academy of Music, Philadelphia). Approximately 19 minutes in length. Finale score/parts available from the composer. A trumpet/organ transcription of the 2nd movement is also available.
This 2nd Place winner in the 1992 Percussive Arts Society Percussion Composition Contest (Large Ensemble) has been performed by the Temple University Percussion Ensemble (Glenn Steele, director), University of Delaware Percussion Ensemble (Harvey Price, director), and others. Scored for 10 players (mallets and battery), it is now available in a beautifully-prepared published edition from Trillenium Music Company. Reviewing the piece after the award, Cort McClaren of Percussive Notes (journal of the Percussive Arts Society) wrote, "Dark Chase is an excellent opener or an exciting show-piece in the center of a concert. Percussion ensemble conductors and performing musicians will find time spent on this piece very rewarding." The published edition was reviewed in the April, 1998 Percussive Notes by John Raush, who said: "Watson's score is well-crafted and imaginative, and reveals his keen eye for the idiomatic performance techniques of some of the instruments used."
Five Carols for Flute and Piano (or Harp)
"The Holly and The Ivy" from this set appeared in the December, 1994 issue of Flute Talk magazine and is now published by Trillenium Music Company(Tunbridge Division), Box 88, Tunbridge, Vermont 05077. The piece, which has been performed by Kathy Diener of the Washington, DC Marine Band, Kathy Karr of the Louisville Symphony Orchestra, and Linda Wetherill (former flutist at IRCAM in Paris), was originally written as a Christmas gift to my flutist wife, Kimberly, in 1988. Selections are included on the CD recording, Celestial Sounds, by the Christy/Davila Duo (flute & harp) and are available for purchase at their website: http://www.christydavila.com/.
This follow-up to the original Five Carols for Flute and Piano (see below) is published by Trillenium Music Company (Tunbridge Division), Box 88, Tunbridge, Vermont 05077. The set, including "Lo, How A Rose E'er Blooming", has been performed by Kathy Diener of the Washington, D.C. Marine Band. Selections are included on the CD recording, Celestial Sounds, by the Christy/Davila Duo (flute and harp) and are available for purchase at their website: http://www.christydavila.com/.
Happy Birthday for Flute Trio
Arranged in 2011 to commemorate the 70th birthday of my mother. A short and sweet setting for three flutes you might use for a variety of occasions, with my compliments! Click here to download PDF score.
Commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, Donald Spieth, music director. Premiered April 8, 2000. Elements of late-Renaissance/Baroque music merge with set theory in this very accessible, yet contemporary piece. Approximately 12 minutes in length. Finale score/parts available from the composer.
For Flute, Piano, optional 'Cello, and Narrator. Using Biblical text, this theater piece tells the story of John the Baptist in a moving way. This is a re-working of an earlier version for fl., cl., bssn., vc., narr. (see below). Published by Trillenium Music Company.
For Flute, Clarinet, Basson, 'Cello, and Narrator. Using Biblical text, this theater piece tells the story of John the Baptist in a moving way. Performed by Network for New Music (Rob Ross, conducting, Linda Reichert, artistic director) among others. Available in neat manuscript from the composer.
For Flute, 'Cello, and Piano. Premiered by the Temple New Music Faculty Trio, and chosen for performance at the 1997 Society of Composer's Region III Conference. Published by Trillenium Music Company.
Based on several stanzas of the Walt Whitman poem of the same name. In Whitman's poem, the Mystic Trumpeter is an omniscient sentinel that observes humankind throughout time and ultimately proclaims our existence to be one of hope and joy! Musically, the piece spans the emotional gamut from a hazy, atmospheric floating to profound resolve, to ecstatic joy! Finale score/parts available from the composer.
Based on several stanzas of the Walt Whitman poem of the same name. Commissioned by the Church Farm School (Exton, PA), Gary Gress, Music Director. Premiered February 25, 2001. Finale score/parts available from the composer. NOTE: A thorough reworking of the piece for Mixed (SATB) Chorus, Solo Trumpet, and Piano was created in 2014 (see above).
"Prayer", from Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra
A transcription for Solo Trumpet and Organ of the 2nd movement of Watson's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra. Approximately 4:30 minutes. Finale score/parts available from the composer.
A delightful, new transcription of the original piece by Franz and Karl Doppler (1878). The virtuosic solo flute parts are essentially the same (though in a clean, modern typesetting), but the piano accompaniment has been adapted for the modern wind ensemble with piano. The piece is 9:45 long. All PDF performance parts available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. Much of this piece is used (in an adapted version) in the score for the silent film, Behind the Scenes, starring Charlie Chaplin (click here to view).
Sing to the Lord a New Song for Male Chorus, a cappella
Commissioned by the Church Farm School (Exton, PA), Gary Gress, Music Director, for their Summer 2004 Germany Tour. Text is Psalm 46:1-4. Finale score/parts available from the composer.
What Child Is This? for SATB Chorus, Piano and optional Flute
The traditional Christmas carol text set to beautiful, original new music. Written in two versions: SATB Chorus, Piano, and opt. Flute; and SATB Chorus, Guitar, and opt. Flute. First performed by the Parkland High School Chorale, Clair Neamand, Director. Guitar version performed December 2006 by the Moravian College Choir, Paula Ring Zerkle, Director. Finale score/parts available from the composer.