Caprice (2006) for Solo Tuba
by Grant Harville
Caprice began life as a project for a composition class I took in graduate school. The assignment was to write a short piece that included contrasting sections that were still unified in some way (the traversal among these varied ideas was the basis for the title of the piece). The contrasts are relatively conspicuous—flowing lyrical passages, drones supporting vocal lines, and faster, rhythmic, syncopated passages. The unifying features are pitch- (or, more precisely, interval-) based; half-steps, tritones, and triads (both major and minor) are prevalent throughout. While I thought the original incarnation of the work was overly perfunctory, I liked the motives it contained and planned to return to it and flesh it out a bit. I finally got a chance to do that late in 2006, and the result of that effort is what is presented here.
Currently Instructor of Tuba and Euphonium at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Grant Harville has written numerous works for a variety of instruments and ensembles. His music has been performed by the University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, the United States Armed Forces Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, the First Baptist Church of Ann Arbor Sanctuary Choir, the University of Michigan Euphonium-Tuba Ensemble, the University of Wisconsin-Madison Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble, and the Fresh Cut Brass, in addition to other soloists and chamber ensembles. He has written extensively for low brass, including works for solo tuba, solo euphonium, solo bass trombone, tuba in various chamber ensembles, tuba-euphonium ensemble, and brass quintet. His Sonata for tuba and piano was a finalist for the Harvey G. Phillips Award for Excellence in Composition.
In addition to his compositional work, he has had multiple successes as a tubist, performing his own Concerto for tuba and orchestra as winner of the 2004 University of Michigan Concerto Competition. He received First Prize in the Artist Tuba division of the 2003 Leonard Falcone International Euphonium and Tuba Competition.
Harville received his Bachelor of Music degree in 2003 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied tuba with John Stevens. He was awarded the 2002 Howard Zinman Fellowship from Phi Kappa Phi and inducted into Phi Beta Kappa in 2003.
He received his Master of Music degree in 2005 from the University of Michigan, where he studied tuba with Fritz Kaenzig. While at the University of Michigan, he acted as Assistant Director and then Director of the University of Michigan Euphonium-Tuba Ensemble, appeared as tenor soloist with several of the local academic and professional choruses, and in 2005 was awarded the Earl V. Moore Award in Music, given to “graduating students who have demonstrated a capacity for great accomplishment within their chosen field of study.”
Other Works by Grant Harville
For unpublished works, please email the composer for availability (email@example.com).
Concerto (tuba and orchestra – piano reduction)
Suite in B-flat Minor (solo tuba)
Beautidel Music Press
Stranec (tuba, 3 percussion, and four-hand piano)
Dithyramb (solo tuba)
Sinfonietta (8-part tuba-euphonium ensemble)
Four Pieces (bass trombone and piano) Sonata (tuba and piano)
The Upper Room (euphonium and piano)
Octatonic Rounds (brass quintet)