Composer and trumpet player Robert Bradshaw announces his
50 States Premiere Project: a performance, in each of the 50 US
states, plus several countries outside the US, of his Sonata for
Trumpet and Strings, during November 2003.
The list (on the publisher's website) of those already signed up
to the project makes impressive reading and contains many names
well-known to ITG members. Contact information
for those wishing to know more or be involved will be found
at the end of the article.
Here Bradshaw describes the project:
"In January 2003, nearly a decade after first being asked
to compose a work for trumpet, I began to revisit the idea of writing
for my own instrument. No small part of this energy came from a
recent opportunity to teach trumpet students at Gordon College.
I called four friends and enlisted their help in writing a grant
to fund the composition. All was moving along smoothly until I found
out there was a requirement, not published in the guidelines, that
disqualified my project. At this point I had spent a great deal
of time composing - as inspiration does not wait for grants - without
securing any compensation. What was I to do? I was determined not
to let the project collapse and decided to attempt something truly
unique. I would introduce the composition to the trumpet community
by premiering it in all fifty states.
My first emails were to two of my trumpet teachers, Dr. Amstutz
in South Carolina and Gary Ross in New Jersey. I explained my situation
and both were on board immediately. This gave me the courage to
start contacting people I didn't know. I have spent countless hours
researching trumpet players on University web sites and writing
letters. This search reached a highpoint when I had the opportunity
to attend the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Fort Worth,
Texas. I spent each day seeking out people I had contacted through
email and introduced myself. It turned out to be more fun and interesting
than I could have imagined. At this point, the consortium of players
had grown to thirty-three performers and was growing day by day.
Additionally, Professor James Ackley (UCONN) had begun preparations
to record Sonata and three other trumpeters were also considering
recording different versions of the work.
It was at this moment that I received an email from Keith Thompson,
soloist with the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra. Mr. Thompson had
approached Director Lane, and consequently Maestro Lunde, about
premiering Sonata with the Orchestra. With an extremely short amount
of time to make the decision, I worked furiously to submit a copy
of the score for consideration. The Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra,
Wisconsin, will be joining the consortium and premiering Sonata on November 16, 2003.
The consortium is continuing to grow. We are all looking forward
to the very good possibility that Sonata will be premiered in all
fifty states, Canada, England and Italy in November, 2003."
Robert Bradshaw biography
Robert J. Bradshaw is a freelance composer, Composer in Residence
with the Northshore Youth Symphony Orchestra and Trumpet Instructor
at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. The regular recipient of commissions
and grants, his library includes compositions for orchestra, wind
ensemble, chorus, opera, ballet and chamber ensembles. These works
are available through Beauport Press Music Publications, www.beauportpress.com.
Bradshaw attended the University of South Carolina where he earned
degrees in Composition (M.M.), Theory/Composition (B.M.) and a Performance
Certificate in Trumpet. Bradshaw is a member of the American Composers
Forum, Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), Society of Composers Inc., National
Association of Composers (NAUSA), American Music Center and is listed
by Meet the Composer. Recent awards include: commissions from the
Massachusetts Chapter of the American String Teachers Association
with the National School Orchestra Association, Cape Ann Symphony
and Peabody Essex Museum; recognition of the brass quintet Beauport
Flourish by the American Composers Forum; and an American Music
Center Grant Recipient. Bradshaw resides in Gloucester, Massachusetts
with his wife, Lori, and their children, Reid and Sarah.
Sonata notes (from the score)
"In addition to a constant pursuit of self-expression through
the creation of new music, I have spent over 20 years of my life
studying the trumpet. Admittedly, the road has been bumpy at times.
But through it all, one thing has never let me put it down - a deep
love for the instrument and its literature. From these works, I
have gained great joy during countless hours of practice and performance.
It is also this music which has directly inspired Sonata. Originally
asked to compose a piece for the trumpet by Dr. A. Keith Amstutz
at the University of South Carolina, I was worried that my study
would unwittingly surface in the creation of this large work for
the instrument. Over the years, I have focused my attention on writing
music for Orchestra, Chorus and other large ensembles as well as
many solo and small ensembles. In the end, not only did I realize
that this worry was unfounded, I decided to embrace the music of
my study and let it inspire this sonata. And what a flood of inspiration
it was! At every turn I let the rhythms and harmonies that had so
fascinated me while practicing resurface within the parameters and
pitch set I had defined for the creation of this piece. Although
the work as a whole is uniquely my creation, I pay constant tribute
to the composers of music I have spent so much time with these many
So, in all sincerity, thank you. Thank you, to the composers who
inspired me to write Sonata and thank you, to you the performers.
It is my hope that you will find some of that same joy playing Sonata."
Bradshaw "would love to generate additional interest in the
trumpet community to ensure we achieve performances in every state
(and in other countries)." Those interested in participating
are invited to contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
or to have a look at the websites listed below, which give more
information on Bradshaw and chart the progress of this project.
Related ITG News story:
Bradshaw "50 states" trumpet sonata about to be premiered: news update
Webcast - Bradshaw Sonata goes live online in Anderson concert
(Added 27th/30th October 2003, also updated email address)
TPIN, Robert Bradshaw, Beauport Press website