Garden of the Gods
Concerto for solo trombone and trombone choir
dedicated to Joseph Alessi, principal trombone, New York Philharmonic
commissioned by Dr. Bradley Palmer and the Columbus State University Trombone Choir
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Of all the beautiful places in Colorado, the one to which I most often return is the famous Garden of the Gods. While certainly not the most massive or dramatic vista in the state, it instead holds an elusive character that is intimate, mischievous, and foreboding all at once. The bizarre rock formations seem to take on their own distinct personalities, and this brief concerto for trombone and trombone choir depicts two of the most well known structures. The “Cathedral Spires” are an extraordinarily delicate group of sandstone columns rising toward the mountains in the distance. The first movement depicts them at dawn, just as the sun emerges from behind Pike’s Peak. “The Three Graces” are large angular shapes that are grouped together near the center of the park. During the day, they are surrounded by the hustle and bustle of visitors and almost seem to be having a busy conversation amongst themselves. The driving allegro of the second movement displays the vibrancy and energy of the park, particularly the daring cyclists racing up and down steep inclines. This piece is composed for and dedicated to Joe Alessi of the New York Philharmonic, and was commissioned by Dr. Brad Palmer and the Columbus State University Trombone Choir.
-notes by the composer