About the piece...

White Oak: Fantasia on "America the Beautiful"(1996)
for Brass Quintet (2 Tpts in Bb, Hn in F, Tbn, Tuba)
Commissioned by the Franklin Park Brass.

Taking its inspiration and formal structure from White Oak Park in Bloomington, Ill., the piece utilizes tonal references within highly chromatic surroundings creating a polymodal result. Whole-tone passages and familiar melodic snippets combine with fluctuating meter to create a sense of wandering motion and spontaneity.

The park possesses a prominent display of the American flag at its entrance where a circular walkway around the lake begins and is the motivation for using material from the hymn Materna (more commonly known as "America the Beautiful"). There is a mile pathway around the lake and the work is intended to convey impressions one might have while walking this path.

Originally written for the Franklin Park Brass, the work was premiered by the Ted Mann Graduate Brass Quintet at the University of Minnesota on December 2, 1997.