Salvationist Euphonium Solos by Joel Pugh
The Development of the Salvation Army Euphonium Solo with Brass Band Accompaniment
The euphonium solo with band accompaniment made its debut in the Salvation Army in 1916. Since this time, over seventy-five compositions for euphonium and brass band have been written. Though this is an impressive quantity, its significance is secondary to the musical substance produced through the continued development of this genre. Even within brass band circles, many euphoniumists are not aware of the compositions of The Salvation Army, for it was not until 1992 that these works were made available to the general public. If one truly examines the complete evolution of the euphonium solo, it is imperative to turn to this facet of composition, for it establishes a benchr mark to measure the entire realm of euphonium literature.
The main focus of this study was to examine selected landmark Salvation Army euphonium solos and to chart their development. The analysis of each of these pieces will show that, in almost every instance, the quality and innovative nature of these compositions exceed any of the euphonium literature being written at the same time in history. This article will conclude with a complete listing of The Salvation Army euphonium solos.
The Song of the Brother (1916)
Erik Leidzen (1894-1962)
The Song of the Brother is probably the Ibest known of all the Salvation Army * euphonium solos. It has timeless appeal, which makes it as popular today as when it was composed over eighty years ago by Erik Leidzen, a name well-known within both the Army and the secular music world. Written in the standard theme and variation style of many of the great solos of Simone Mantia, Herbert L. Clarke, Arthur Pryor and others, the straightforward theme is preceded by an introduction and cadenza. This is followed by a triplet variation, minor variation and an exciting technical finale.
Though no manuscripts exist, it is understood that Leidzen composed The Song of the Brother in 1916 as a comet solo, probably written for himself. He rescored it in the 1920’s for euphonium, with Harold Jackson giving the piece its first documented performance with the New England Staff Band. Like all Salvation Army music, this composition is based on a sacred tune. The actual song. The Song of the Brother, is the Army’s version of the secular melody When You and I Were Young, Maggie. The Army changed the text of the chorus to “Oh! Live Once Again for Your Lord, Brother,” and it was for a time a favorite Salvation Army song. Leidzen dedicated his rendition to his younger sister, Maggie, hence the play on words within the chosen title. The significance of The Song of the Brother cannot be underestimated, for not only was it the first Salvation Army euphonium solo, but it also set the standard for the compositions that would follow.
George Marshall (1888-1956)
Ransomed is the only euphonium solo written by George Marshall, a man who is considered one of the great Salvationist composers of the first part of the twentieth century. Based on the tune In Evil Long I Took Delight, a once familiar Salvation Army song of testimony that illustrates the joy experienced by being ransomed in Jesus Christ from a life of sin and despair. Originally called by the name of the hymn, its title was changed to Ransomed in January 1948. It is thought that this work was premiered by Josh Walford, a member of the International Staff Band.
Though Ransomed still adheres to the theme and variation form, it contains subtle departures from the standard formula of theme, triplet variation, minor variation, and technical finale. It is more rhythmically advanced, combining duple and triplet rhythms, and it even contains an extra variation. Also, the band interludes are lengthier and the accompaniment is provided with more substantive material, including syncopations and hemiola rhythms. The differences between Ransomed and The Song of the Brother are not extreme, however the advances do pave the way for future compositions.
The Ransomed Host (1953)
Ray Steadman-Allen b. 1922
Ray Steadman-Alien is recognized as one of the most renowned and prolific brass band composers within The Salvation Army whose compositions include over 250 pieces for Salvation Army, as well as for secular contesting brass bands in all genres and styles. Steadman-Alien uses The Salvation Army tune. Numberless as the Sands as the basis for The Ransomed Host. The solo was originally performed by a Scottish euphonium player, accompanied by the International Staff Band at Royal Albert Hall in the early 1950’s. Soon after, it was performed by Josh Walford of the ISB.
The majority of the Salvationist solos prior to The Ransomed Host would be classified as air varies, fairly straightforward theme and variation solos. With this piece, Steadman-Allen planted the seed for a new manner of composition for Salvationist euphonium solos. Rather than simply employing a set of variations on the theme, he departed from the sectional closed form, thus establishing a “forward flow.” This was accomplished by the accompaniment providing transitional material at the end of each section so that it had more of a symphonic feel. The Ransomed Host begins with a theme, and, like The Song of the Brother, inserts a band interlude into this section. Steadman-Allen then extends the theme by ornamenting it prior to any of the variations. Variation 1 changes mode and meter and, though Variation 11 is the typical triplet section, it is strengthened by implementing various duple rhythms. The recitative is similar to the cadenzas in the previously analyzed pieces; however though the accompaniment is sparse, it still provides more continuity between sections. The variation in minor adheres less to the original tune and is more rhapsodic in nature than The Song of the Brother and Ransomed. The iriterlude, performed by both solo and accompaniment, is also a departure from previous models that usually would advance from the minor variation directly into the final variation.
Overall, The Ransomed Host provided an important transition between the theme and variation solos of the first half of the century, and the more symphonic forms that would follow. As was true of Ray Steadman-Allen’s brass band compositions, he implemented innovative ideas into standard forms. These innovations were incorporated into the works of many Salvationist composers of the next generation, including those of Edward Gregson.
Symphonic Rhapsody (1962)
Edward Gregson b.l945
Edward Gregson is another composer who possesses credibility in virtually all genres including The Salvation Army, the contesting brass band movement, wind band music, as well as the orchestral and chamber settings. Symphonic Rhapsody for Euphonium and Brass Band was one of his earliest compositions, written at the age of 17 and prior to his formal training at the Royal Academy of Music. Written originally for his brother Bramwell, Symphonic Rhapsody is based on the Salvation Army chorus. The Old Chariot. Like Steadman-Allen, Gregson did not limit himself to the established closed, sectional form often identified with the theme and variation style; likewise, he felt confined as a composer when limited to the Army’s constraints of including a sacred melody as the basis for his composition. Even in Gregson’s Salvationist works, such as Symphonic Rhapsody and Variations on ‘Laudate Dominum,’ a true symphonic approach is evident. Symphonic Rhapsody possesses a theme similar to that of previous Salvationist works, yet this is where the similarities cease to exist. Though called a rhapsody, this piece actually embodies the free form and ambiguous qualities of the rhapsody while in the context of a structured sonata framework. In addition, Gregson expanded the band material to not merely serve as accompaniment to the solo but to introduce new material and develop it. The result is a much more intricate and substantial work.
True to the unpredictable manner in which a rhapsody unfolds. Symphonic Rhapsody does not follow any preconceived formulas. For example, following the theme, the band launches into a brilliant allegro with a completely new motive. This is followed by an allegretto setting of the theme, but now in an asymmetrical 5/4 setting. The minor section is not simply a version of the theme as presented by previous composers. Instead, it develops material loosely based on the rhapsodic opening.
Another advanced compositional technique is Gregson’s use of shifting tonal centers. As seen in the previous examples, with the exception of one | modulation to the relative minor key, the pieces adhered to the original key. However, Symphonic Rhapsody displays the composer’s ability to move freely between not just stylistic and tempo changes, but between keys as well. Though the many modulations are fairly straight-forward (mostly relative and parallel keys) the quantity of changes gives the piece a new variety. Also, these modulations are somewhat hidden to the listener, thus rarely interrupting the flow of the piece.
The significance of Symphonic Rhapsody cannot be overstated. This piece was the first total departure from the closed form of the theme and variation in favor of a more symphonic form. At a time when the rest of the compositional world was still trying to grasp the true identity of the euphonium, Gregson not only understood this medium, but composed a piece that certainly set a new, high standard and also influenced the modem generation of British composers yet to come.
Journey Into Peace (1974)
William Himes b. 1949
William Himes is a multi-talented Salvationist whose contribution to the music of The Salvation Army has been considerable. As a composer, the breadth of Himes’ works spans virtually every brass band form, and nearly all of his compositions have been premiered by the Chicago Staff Band, an ensemble he conducts. While these two musical aspects receive the most attention, it should be noted that he is also an accomplished euphonium player, an area that proved invaluable for his understanding of this medium in the composition of Journey Into Peace.
Journey Into Peace is based on Colonel Edward Joy’s song. All Your Anxiety, and depicts the struggle and futility that is transformed through the abiding presence of Christ. Himes composed this piece for himself and gave its premiere performance in 1974, accompanied by the Flint Citadel Band. He envisioned Journey Into Peace as a text painting, in which the words of the song govern the mood of the music. The words of the original song accurately portray Himes’ view of Christian theology. In many ways Journey Into Peace does not follow the pattern of development of the other six solos examined in this study, rather, it forges a unique musical course. Even Himes’ treatment of the “typical” Salvationist tune, the foundation for the composition, is unlike earlier solos. In the previously examined pieces, the tune is present in its entirety early in the piece. The song. All Your Anxiety, is not heard until the piece is well underway, though rhythmic and melodic fragments of the tune are heard from the outset.
Further separating this composition from those discussed previously is its overall form and the statement that this makes. In contrast, to the previous pieces. Journey Into Peace is a tone poem in which the words and feelings of the song are conveyed through the moods set by the music. If the listener is familiar with the words of the song, the story that is told through the music will be evident. The unrest and tension caused by a worldly focus is apparent throughout much of the piece. Contributing to this tension is an increased emphasis on chromaticism, which Himes weaves into otherwise tonal sections. It is not until the chorus of the song finally appears that the feeling of peace implied in the title becomes clear. Though Journey Into Peace may not fit into the logical evolution of Salvation Army euphonium solos, it certainly holds an important standing in its solo repertoire. It closely adheres to the tenets of Army music and is certainly composed with the intent of glorifying God through its music. It draws from some of the advances made by Steadman-Allen and Gregson, particularly the rhapsodic development.
However its programmatic nature, use of chromatic harmony, and overall format put it in a place in the repertoire that is unmatched to this time.
Robert Redhead b. 1940
Robert Redhead, is another Salvationist who has made his mark within the Army in numerous ways. A former bandmaster of the Canadian Staff Band and the International Staff band, he is now active in an administrative role within the organization. In addition to his many Salvation Army compositions, he was the first serving Salvation Army officer commissioned to write a piece for the British National Championships.(Isaiah 40, used for the 1996 British National Championships).
Euphony, originally composed for Canadian euphonium soloist, Wilf Mountain, is based on four melodies of Sydney Cox: He Found Me, This One Thing I Know, You Can Tell Out the Sweet Story, and Deep and Wide. In addition to using four tunes rather than just one, the manner in which Redhead uses these melodies is vastly different from the previously examined works. Rather than presenting the melodies in their entirety (with the exception of Deep and Wide, used in the slow section), he chooses to weave motives from these songs throughout the composition, exchanging phrases from two separate songs and supplementing this with other developmental material such as extended technical flourishes and developed rhapsodic material.
Also, in a departure from previous models. Euphony displays a hint of the composer’s fondness for uneven metrical units. Each of the four larger sections alternate between compound and simple meter, with the two slower units in the more basic simple meter. In the first compound section, the music shows a state of rhythmic unrest by using tied notes to obscure the beat. Adding to this instability in the first movement are the asymmetrical qualities of the technical flourishes, which are placed in an array of various groupings (sixteenth runs in groups of six, seven, nine, and ten). The last section displays Redhead’s trademark of using mixed meters. In this instance, he ornaments a previously heard melody in mixed meter while alternating it with the same tune in simple meter. The overall form of this composition is closely akin to a concerto framework of fast/slow/fast, proceeded by an introduction. By instituting this established form. Redhead has attempted to position Euphony into the realm of “serious” symphonic solo literature. From the outset. Euphony has been a staple in the repertoire of the top Salvationist euphonium players. However, since 1992, when The Salvation Army’s music became available to the public, it has “taken off” with the rest of the euphonium world. When considering all of the significant euphonium concetti of the twentieth century. Euphony certainly has a prominent place on the list.
Lyric Variations (1998)
Ray Steadman-Allen b. 1922
Lyric Variations is a new unpublished composition that soon will be released in The Salvation Army’s Festival Series. Written for Derick Kane of the International Staff Band and recently released on his solo recording of the same name, it is based on the unpretentious Shaker melody. Simple Gifts; a tune that is familiar to many and one also used by Aaron Copland in his ballet Appalachian Spring. The poet Sydney Carter set this beautiful melody to a new text and entitled it Lyric Variations.
In writing Lyric Variations, Steadman- Alien has returned to the familiar Salvationist musical form of theme and variation. However, due to the many complexities of the music, it is evident that this older form is now in a contemporary symphonic backdrop. One of the most evident departures from the typical theme and variation form is the intricacy of the band parts. The accompaniment is more similar to the recent Salvationist pieces, such as Euphony, than any of the earlier theme and variation compositions. Following the initial lively setting of the theme, the succeeding sections, though labeled as variations, are actually quite rhapsodic in nature. They each possess their own distinct character, even with portions of the theme present. Also unique are the new styles the composer brings to the Salvationist euphonium solo, such as the waltz and the jazzy soft shoe. Steadman-Alien continues his new presentation of the standard theme and variation form in a symphonic setting by exploring various tonal centers. While the earlier pieces of this genre unfolded mostly in a single key, with a modulation, usually to a related minor key. Lyric Variations experiences several modulations in the theme alone. This variety of keys continues throughout the piece as modulations occur in each of the sections.
Like the constant tonal centers, a common meter is usually present throughout most of the earlier theme and variation solos. The trend toward non-standard meters has been discussed in each of the previously examined selections. Though this piece does not accentuate asymmetrical groupings and meters, as did Euphony, it still possesses enough metrical changes to give it a subtle excitement. Yet another aspect separating Lyric Variations from the previously examined pieces is its level of challenge for the soloist. While each of the aforementioned selections possess a high level of difficulty, and each presents its player with unique hurdles, this work “raises the bar” to a new level. The technical passages, while indeed filled with many notes, are not predictable and do not “fall easily under the fingers.” After the departure from the theme and variation design of many of the Salvation Army euphonium solos, it is ironic that this most recent solo chooses to revisit the older style. It is almost as if the composer wished to continue the lineage. However, in a manner similar to that of Johannes Brahms, who breathed new romantic life into the classical model of the symphony, Ray Steadman-Allen has modified the theme and variation form, placing it in a contemporary setting that actively employs the most recent trends in Salvation Army music.
The Salvation Army euphonium solo with band accompaniment experienced significant changes in the nearly eight decades elapsing between the composition of The Song of the Brother and Lyric Variations. Equally noteworthy is the fact that each of these pieces set the standard in its era for all euphonium literature – even though most of the “outside world” was not yet aware of the music of The Salvation Army. While the non- Salvationist music world was encountering slow, laborious progress in its output of quality euphonium music, the Army possessed a large quantity of compositions for this medium, with constant evolution setting new standards.
When examining the development of the Salvation Army solo with band accompaniment, one may notice many changes that have transpired throughout the years. Some of the major developments include the following:
1. Used as the main basis of the composition, the Salvation Army melody was originally presented in a virtually unembellished manner. In later compositions, though still conspicuous, the melody became augmented by rhapsodic and other developmental material.
2. The relationship between the soloist and band is now much more crucial, not simply a soloist with accompaniment.
3. The overall form has advanced greatly from the basic theme and variation. No matter which form is utilized, it is now of a more symphonic nature.
4. A wide variety of tonal centers and meters is now employed, thus providing a greater spectrum of sounds and rhythms.
5. Though all of these top-level solos have always been technically challenging, the recently composed pieces possess technical advances in addition to more difficult interpretive aspects.
If one were to examine the history of the Salvationist euphonium solo, they would see the euphonium as a prominent and respected instrument – one for which composers often chose to write challenging works. It is unfortunate that for many years, when euphonium literature was painfully deficient, a wealth of music was not made known or available to the general public due to Salvation Army regulations. Had it been available earlier, the identity of the euphonium may have been greatly enhanced, thus allowing it greater access in a wider variety of venues.
Dr. Joel Pugh is an Assistant Professor of Low Brass at Heidelberg College in Tiffin, Ohio. He has performed as principal euphoniumist and has solo CD features with the Brass Band of Columbus and the Cuyahoga Valley Brass Band. Pugh serves on the board of directors of the North American Brass Band Association and is an artist/clinician for Boosey & Hawkes. This study accompanied a lecture recital of the same subject in partial fulfillment of his Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Performance at Michigan State University.
|FS 16 2
|True to Hearli
|Vd>>s/Fri‘iliTick C’l. llaw-kus
|Trumpet Shall Sound
|1 landol/Frcdi-rick (.1.1 lawkcs
|Kristian M. F^i^rr^lp
|Honour and Arms
|Handcl/Frcdfiick G. Hawkos
|Philip R. C.’atL’lirift
|The Son” of rhe Brother
|Albert H. Jakeway
|The Eternal Quest
|The Ransimied I lost
|My Eifjlii and Son}>
|The C AMuiueror
|Si’iiK of Triumph
|My C]hri.-.r Is All In All
|Home on t he Range
|The Better World
|1 larhour Light
|My Unehangiii” Friend
|GS 519 2
|Great Stilv. Cjratid Redetnption
|GS 730 2
|Frederick G. 1 lawkcs
|GS 873 2
|If With .All Your 1 learts
|Mendelssohn/Art. C joldsmith
|GS 978 2
|Reckon C>n Me
|Frederick G. Hawkes
|Lift L’p the Banner
|Land Beyond rhe Blue
|Albert H. jakeway
|In the Army
|GS 1122 2
|GS 1207 1
|The Ltird of rhe Temi’iest
|arr. Albert 11. Jakeway
|The 1 lappy Pilgrim
|Albert H. Jakeway
|We’ll All Shout “1 lallelujah”
|Norman |. Aiidoirc
|A Starry CYown
|Liive Lifted Me
|A joy LJniold
|Senaille/Willium 11 imes
|GS 1819 2
|All 1 1 lave 1 Am Bringing. . .
|Evetydrody Should Know
|Jesus, 1 C’omc To Thee
|GS 1903 1
|Thank You Lord
|Terry t aimsey
|Rondo alia Turca
|Spirit of Lite
|How L^m 1 Keep From Singing.’
|Kenneth A. Elloway
|What a Savior
|John Partison Jr.
|.Soldier Fight On
|Jobti Patti.vm Jr.
|The Gladsome Call
|John Partison Jr.
|0 Sinner Man
|A Song of rhe Fight
|Fie Wipes the Tear
|Michael A. Babb
|1 Ltive To Tell rhe Story
|Thiimas V. Mack
|His l,ovc Remains the Same
|Alleyro (Bassoon Contem’)
|Arrival ot the Qiieen ot Shirha
|1 lanJd/Ian Junes
|C’all of rile Seasons
|Tlie Flower Sony (Cairnien)
|Bizet’l luvvaril Snoll
|Hallelujah, Praise rhe Lord
|Journey Into Peace
|William 1 limc>
|Standing on rhe Prouiise.s
|Swin” rhar Door
|V’ai’iaiirs on St. Francis
|Wcbbcr/Pci cr (Iraham
FS Festival Series: Most advanced, lechnically challenging selections; often ot greater length: full instrumentation (17 parts); originated 1925
GS General Series: Advanced, hut not as difficult as Festival Series; full instrumentrition; first SA scries; tiriginated in 1884 as transcriptions of vocal music: 1901 first selections appeared
TS Triumph Series: Intermeiliate level; geared for smaller hands (14 parrs)
ARJ American Band Journal: Inrermediate-rnoderaiely advanced; geared for smaller Kinds (14 parts); can he performed with fewer players than Triumph Series
SJ Sextet journal: Smaller chamher .netting; iiu’derarely difficult to difficult level