A lively suite for concert band mixing big band, jazz, rock, Irish jig and traditional march styles
- 9 minutes
- Tristan’s March: A Village Jubilee
- Abigail’s Jig
- Meriman Rondo
This three movement work was first performed complete in 1986, but the first movement, Tristan’s March: A Village Jubilee, dates from 1977 when the composer collaborated with Rodney Parker, then bandmaster of the Queen’s Division, on musical events in Bassingbourn to celebrate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. The band was stationed at the barracks in Bassingbourn, then also the composer's home village.
The march is composed with a traditional rondo march structure: a short introduction; a 16-bar main theme in E flat major (A); a 32-bar bass theme (B); a return of the main theme, this time with a euphonium counter-melody (A1); a Trio (C) with 32 bars in A flat major, also with a euphonium counter-melody; a final statement of the A1 theme (16 bars).
Abigail’s Jig dates from 1980 and started life as a flute and piano piece, written for the composer’s daughter.
It attempts to capture the atmosphere of an Irish jig, with a mixture of lively pseudo-folk tunes and 'vamping' harmony.
The introduction is intended to be humorous and rather musically misleading. It starts in F minor but is immediately contradicted by remote chords, openly parodying the 'cowboy' music of Aaron Copland. Modal harmony helps to create the folk-like mood.
The main themes are presented in D minor and are shared throughout the band; sequential modulation builds up to a key change to E minor, which presents the first theme unexpectedly softly in keeping with the humour of the piece.
The recap is contracted before the climax where the upper wind instruments play busy decorative triplets against a strong statement of the main theme in augmentation, in the bass.
After a third and final reference to the introductory material, the movement finishes with an upward flourish.
Meriman Rondo, composed in 1980, is a mix of big band, rock and jazz with two solo sections, for trombone and trumpet, which eventually combine their themes against a Latin-American rhythm.
The episodes of the rondo are interspersed with four statements of an 8-bar syncopated brass chorus, twice varied with a superimposed counter-melody.
The individual movements of Three Piece Suite are sometimes performed separately.
- 5 and 7 June 1977, Bassingbourn Church & Village College, (Cambs, UK)as part of Silver Jubilee celebrations, band of the Queen's Division, Rodney Parker (bandmaster)
- 2 December 1977 Ward Freman School, Buntingford (Herts, UK), Band of the Depot the Queen's Division, Bassingbourn, David E. Price (bandmaster)
- 25 September 1980, Ward Freman School, Buntingford (Herts, UK), Buntingford & Royston Schools' Concert Band, Richard Lambert (conductor)
- 22 November 1980, Melbourn Village College (Cambs UK), Buntingford & Royston Schools' Concert Band, Richard Lambert (conductor)
- 8 July 1981 Ward Freman School, Buntingford (Herts, UK), Buntingford & Royston Schools' Concert Band, Richard Lambert (conductor)
- 12 July 1986 Queen Mother Theatre, Hitchin, (Herts, UK), North Herts Wind Band, Spencer Drinkall (conductor)
- 31 January 1987, Plinston Hall, Letchworth, Herts. North Herts Wind Band, Richard Lambert (conductor)
- 4 December 1994 Milton Keynes (Bucks, UK) North Bucks Wind Band, Malcolm Crane (conductor)
- 3 December 1995 St. Christopher School, Letchworth, (Herts UK), school band, Richard Lambert (conductor)
- 8 May 2000 Merchant Taylors' School, Northwood (Middx, UK), Joint St. Helen's/Merchant Taylor's Concert Band, Richard Lambert (conductor)
- ‘Meriman Rondo’ was recorded on Youthful Records MCCII by North Bucks Wind Band/Crane 1986