Blue Lake Fantasies (Suite in Five Movements) - David Gillingham - Unaccompanied Solo Euphonium

Reference:  SMCAPBLF
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Commissioned by The Leonard Falcone International Euphonium Festival, Blue Lake Fantasies is a virtuosic work intended for the professional euphonium player or an advanced student. Cast in the form of a five-movement suite, the work seeks to exploit both the technical facility as well as the lyrical quality of the instrument. Each movement is a fantasy and bears a name which could be associated with this Fine Arts Camp situated at Twin Lake, Michigan. Therefore, each movement is programmatic in that it reflects the spirit or image suggested by the title.

“Firefly” is a technical etude of sorts which simulates the lightning-fast firefly on a hot summer’s night. Sudden changes of dynamics and style in this movement are indicative of the elusive firefly as it darts through the summer air, sometimes flickering and sometimes resting in the grass.

The second movement, “Moonlight Across the Water,” is lyrical and expressive, capturing the emotion felt by the composer on many occasions while contemplating the serene beauty of a lake adorned by shimmering moonlight.

“All That Jazz,” the third movement, salutes the jazz program at Blue Lake with its swing tempo and stereotypical rhythms.

The fourth movement, “Ancient Native Air,” is simplistic and lyrical. It is based on the Chippewa Indian tune “My Music Reaches to the Sky.” Michigan has a rich Native American history and it seemed appropriate to include this wonderful old tune.

The fifth and final movement, “Party-Antics,” is a musical romp with cliché melodic patterns and rhythms. The music is intended to capture the spirit of celebration at a party gathering on the last day of camp. There is, however, a bittersweet wrinkle in all this fun: a soaring and majestic secondary theme reflects the sadness as new found friends depart from camp and go their separate ways.

Blue Lake Fantasies was premiered by Brian Bowman on August 12, 1995 at The Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lake, Michigan.


Duration: 15 mins

Difficulty level: 5/6

Supplied with solo part in TC and BC

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