“Eridanus & Sagittarius” from Constellation for Unaccompanied Euphonium
by Patrick Schulz
|Patrick Schulz (b. 1974) is an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University West and Paradise Valley Community College teaching courses in rock music and culture, music theory, and music appreciation. He is also pursuing a D.M.A. in composition at Arizona State University where he has been a graduate teaching assistant in the theory area and president of the Contemporary Music Society. Patrick received his M.M. in composition from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln and his bachelor degree in composition and euphonium performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His compositions are published by Tuba-Euphonium Press, Encore Music Publishers, and TubaQuartet.com. Patrick is also a founding member of the Sotto Voce Quartet (on the web at www.tubaquartet.com). Sotto Voce has two recordings on Summit Records (Consequences and Viva Voce! The Quartets of John Stevens), and the quartet members are Besson Performing Artists, sponsored by The Music Group Inc. download score page 1 download score page 2
This issue of the ITEA Journal features an article authored by Patrick, and, appropriately, two movements from his popular unaccompanied euphonium work have been selected as our ninth installment of the ITEA Gem Series, which the composer has dedicated to his friend and colleague Demondrae Thurman. Patrick has provided the following program notes for the work:
Constellation (1999) was originally written for Scott Anderson (Associate Professor of Trombone at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln). Equally performable on euphonium, I knew euphonium soloist Demondrae Thurman would eventually champion the work. This revised version is dedicated to him. The five movements comprise a set of concert etudes, suited for performance on the concert stage or for private study as individual pieces focusing on different interval combinations. Each movement is constructed from a distinct set of melodic intervals which helps form an abstract picture of the given constellation.
Typically, there are 88 constellations discernable in the night sky. Many have Greek myths associated with them. The following summarizes the story behind each constellation featured in this work.
Cassiopeia (The Queen or The Lady in the Chair) was the wife of the Ethiopian King Cepheus. She was very beautiful, but vain. Cassiopeia promised her daughter to Perseus, but changed her mind. In an attempt to disrupt the marriage between the two, she convinced one of Poseidon’s sons to interrupt the ceremony. As a result, Poseidon placed both the king (Cepheus) and the queen (Cassiopeia) in the heavens. However, because of her vanity, Cassiopeia was placed in the sky to revolve around the celestial pole, sometimes hanging upside down in undignified positions. The constellation is shaped like the chair upon which the queen sits and looks like the letter “W.”
Eridanus (The River) is a very long, mythical river that starts near the constellation Orion and ends far to the south near Hydrus. Many claim the river resembles the Tigris, Euphrates, Nile, or the River Po in Italy. In myth, Eridanus is the river where the young Phaethon (son of Helios, the Sun God) crashed after his unsuccessful attempt to drive the Chariot of the Sun.
Sagittarius (The Archer) is half-man and half-beast like the Centaurs. He was placed in the heavens to help guide the Argonauts in their many travels. The stars outline the shape of a bow and arrow (it takes more imagination to see the halfman, half-beast creature pulling back on the bow).
Gemini (The Twins––Pollux and Castor) share the same mother (Queen Leda of Sparta), but had different fathers. Pollux, the son of Zeus, is immortal. When the other twin (the mortal Castor) was killed in battle, Pollux was so upset that he asked Zeus to bring his brother back to life. Zeus, touched by Pollux’s intense love for Castor, allowed the brothers to be placed side by side in the heavens.
Scorpius (The Scorpion) was sent by Gaia (the Earth Goddess) to kill Orion because he had promised to do away with all the wild animals on earth. The Scorpion chased Orion all over the heavens, but could never catch him (Scorpius is way in the east and rises only after the constellation Orion in the west disappears).
Constellation is recorded on Demondrae’s debut CD with Summit Records, Soliloquies (DCD 431), along with my Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Ensemble, Soliloquies by John Stevens, Fantasy for Euphonium and Orchestra by Doug Bristol, and Sinfonia Concertante by Frederic Goossen. The work is available for purchase at www.tubaquartet.com. Other original works and arrangements for tuba/euphonium quartet, solo euphonium, and solo tuba by members of the Sotto Voce Quartet are also available on the sheet music page (including a free download of Loch Lomond, arranged by Michael Forbes for ITEA Gem Series No. 3.)