In the late Spring of 2007 I was asked by John Miller, Professor of Brass at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester to write a piece for brass ensemble. It was to be a joint project with RNCM, the Birmingham Conservatoire, the Royal Academy of Music, and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
I chose to write a piece for solo bass trombone (a much neglected solo instrument), brass ensemble and percussion.
In four movements, it is inspired by and dedicated to my four grand-children, a movement for each. Like many youngsters they are intrigued by the idea of ghosts. Hence:
Monster Music for kate who loves to play monsters to the accompaniment of Sousa marches.
Ghosts for Alex, her older brother, who wasconvinced there was a ghost in the garden of their London house.
Mischief for Rebecca, their younger and extremely feisty sister.
W.W.W. is for Barnaby their older cousin. Not the Web, but a family joke that his grandmother, my wife, is a Wicked Witch of the West.
The first performance was given at the Royal Northern College by an ensemble composed of students from the four commissioning colleges, with Mark Frost as soloist and John Miller as conductor, in January 2008.
Elgar Howarth, May 2009, Beccles, Suffolk, England