Solo and Chamber
Takeoff for Trumpet Ensemble and Organ (2008) - 6'
Commissioned by the Atlanta Trumpet Ensemble
Kay and David Fairchild, Directors
Premiere: September 13, 2008 - Atlanta Trumpet Festival
Emory University Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
The Atlanta Trumpet Ensemble
Rachael Kresha, Organ
conducted by William Pitts
When I was a kid, I was obsessed with flight, both simulated and real, and dedicated my life to becoming a pilot. My grandfather was a Delta Airlines pilot for thirty-four years and my dad spent time during his high school years working towards his private license. Constantly hearing aviation stories, I longed for that control and the ability to soar above the rest of the world. Although my interest in the career is not as high, my fascination and participation in aviation persist.
I named Takeoff near the completion of its writing. As I listened to the dramatic build of the opening sections, free-flowing middle, and climax, I was reminded of some of my fondest memories in an airplane. There is no feeling like that of accelerating down the runway at 100 miles per hour, and then being on your own with only the clouds to keep you company.
Takeoff begins with two trumpet solos in an echo, representing the anticipation of being free from the limits of the ground. Eventually, as parts begin to layer, the intensity builds to the first "lift-off" and statement of the principal melody. All of the melodic figures in the piece parallel the gracefulness of flying. The middle section uses two main chords in the harmony to illustrate the free nature of being up in the air. Eventually, the adrenaline and intensity build to the final climax and ending figures, just as does my heart rate every time I turn on that final approach to land.
Takeoff was commissioned by and is dedicated to the Atlanta Trumpet Ensemble and their directors, Kay and David Fairchild. I greatly appreciate their collaboration, advice, and friendship over the years.