Citadel is my first composition for a large ensemble, symphonic band, written in 1975 when I was a junior in high school. Our beloved and respected band director, Art Baldwin (a.k.a. “Sarge”) saw the score and offered to try it out with the band. Though we didn’t play it for the last concert like I hoped, we did read it a few times. Sarge allowed me to take the podium and was impressed that I could easily identify and correct wrong notes resulting from the parts’ notation errors.
Hearing my beloved chords, and having Sarge’s support opened a door that allowed me to clearly see a path in my life. I wanted to compose concert music to build Citadels in the sky.
Thanks to Dr. Bill Bauer, Citadel was to receive it’s first performance, 37 years later, fittingly back at my hometown of Wadsworth, Ohio at the town’s 2012 July 4th celebration. Unfortunately, the piece was cancelled because Bill didn’t think it’d get a good performance with the Wadsworth Community Band. Bill played baritone horn next to my brother Kevin and has gone on to develop a successful career in music education. Dr. Bauer is the director of the as well as a professor at Case Western Reserve and the University of Florida. It was to join the premiere of a new work composed in memory of Sarge, which was not completed. Save that for later!
I notated Citadel into Sibelius for its premiere from my original pencil and paper score and decided to not improve the work so to keep its original youthful spirit. I left in weaknesses. In two places I changed the meter to reflect the rhythms that I had originally played on the piano but was unable to notate correctly back in ’75. After notating the piece into the computer with Sibelius for a clean presentation and parts, I exported a MIDI file from it to Apple Logic. From there, I assigned various virtual instruments from the Logic, Kontakt 4 and basic Vienna Symphonic libraries and worked up correct volumes and velocities.