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Mourning Dove Sonnet

vibraphone solo
Composer: Christopher Deane
Publisher: Earthshine Publishing distributed by Innovative Percussion
Instrumentation: Vibraphone

Program Notes:
This piece is for solo vibraphone, using techniques that are unique to the instrument. This piece should not be performed unless the player uses the techniques indicated. The player should take time to allow the effects to work in performance, never projecting the feeling of being rushed or frantic. Movement should be fluid, to serve both the music and the visual aspect of the music. Since the combination of bows and mallets presents problems beyond the harmonic understanding of the piece, it may be helpful to learn the work using mallets before working with the bows.

"In ABA form, Mourning Dove Sonnet is not only completely idiomatic for vibraphone, but also one of the most difficult vibraphone works available. Approximately 8 1/2 minutes long, the piece calls for two bows to be held during the A sections. However, these are to be held as the outside mallets of the Stevens four-mallet grip! The left hand inside mallet is a standard vibraphone mallet, while the right hand inside mallet is a pitch bending mallet. Obviously, the difficulty arises in the mechanics of these combinations. But it should be noted that the combinations of sounds that are consequently produced are numerous, pleasing, interesting, and excellently presented within their contexts. The rhythms in Mourning Dove Sonnet are generally straightforward, but 5 versus 2 is a predominant figure as well. In addition to bowing and bending pitches, the performer is required to create harmonics on various pitches and play on a muffled portion of the vibraphone. Parts of the melodic material are taken from an actual mourning dove song (hence the fide), and the harmonies are typically pleasing with little unresolved dissonance. The directions included with the work are very specific and easy to understand. The printing is neat, but there are a few discrepancies regarding rhythm (two 9/8 bars labeled as 7/8, a 3/4 bar reading as 2/4, etc.). All markings for harmonics, bending, bowings, etc. are very clear. The advanced vibraphonist will find performing Mourning Dove Sonnet a challenging and rewarding experience. I highly recommend it." - Rich Holly Percussive Notes, October 1985

Christopher Deane

Associate Professor of Percussion
University of North Texas

Christopher Deane is an Associate Professor of Percussion at the University of North Texas College of Music teaching orchestral timpani, mallets, and directing the UNT Percussion Players percussion ensemble. He holds performance degrees from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He studied with James Massie Johnson, former principal timpanist of the St. Louis Symphony and percussion with Allen Otte. He has also studied independently with Roland Kohloff, N.Y. Philharmonic, Eugene Espino, Cincinnati Symphony and Leonard Schulman, N.Y. City Opera.

Deane is currently principal percussionist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra and is acting Principal Timpanist of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra. He is a frequent performer with the Dallas Wind Symphony and has appeared on five recordings with that ensemble. Deane was the Principal Timpanist of the Greensboro Symphony for nine years and performed with the North Carolina Symphony for ten years. Deane has performed with numerous large ensembles including the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Ft. Worth Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Spoleto Festival Orchestra, Utah Symphony and Virginia Symphony working with conductors such as Leonard Slatkin, Loren Maazel, Andrew Litton, Jaap van Sweden, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, and Keith Lockhart. His chamber music experience includes performances with the Percussion Group Cincinnati, Aeolian Chamber Players, Mallarme Chamber Players and the Philidor Percussion Group. He has appeared in more than seventy performances as a concerto soloist with either symphony orchestras or wind ensembles.

Deane was the faculty percussionist for the Bowdoin Summer Music Festival in Maine from 1982 to 1989. Over the course of those eight years Deane worked closely with composer George Crumb performing his music and serving as a consultant to Crumb for works including Idyll for the Misbegotten, Quest, and Haunted Landscapes. Deane served as a percussionist for the American Dance Festival from 1992 to 1996. He has also served as faculty percussionist for the Vale Veneto Music Festival in Brazil.

Deane has recorded as a timpanist, percussionist and Hungarian Cimbalom soloist. He is a featured concerto soloist on two UNT Wind Symphony recordings featuring the concertos of Joseph Schwantner, Russell Peck and William Kraft under the baton of Eugene Corporon. Deane has also recorded the music of Stravinsky with conductor Robert Craft for the Naxos Label, and has recorded with the Detroit Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Greensboro Symphony, Cincinnati Philharmonia, Mallarme Chamber Players, St. Stevens Chamber Orchestra and the Winston-Salem Symphony.

Deane has won both 1st and 2nd prize in the PAS Composition Competition. He studied Composition with Sherwood Shaffer, Robert Ward, and Charles Fussell, and independently with Ben Johnston. He has received numerous commissions including the Percussive Arts Society, University of Oklahoma, and the University of Kentucky. His music has been performed and recorded internationally and a number of his compositions have become standard literature on concerts and recitals worldwide. Deane has served two terms on the PAS Board of Directors. He is a clinician for the Bergerault/Dynasty Corporation, Black Swamp Percussion, Innovative Percussion and Sabian Cymbals.

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Christopher Deane Christopher Deane
University of North Texas
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