Recordings

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Cocktails - 2009

For almost two decades now I’ve been making quite a habit of furnishing a local ten-piece brass group with new arrangements and original compositions.  Brassroots came along right around the same time I was pursuing a career in composition, and proved to be a superb vehicle for practicing my trade.  When we set out to record this CD I had no idea that it was going to end up being my “Brassroots” Anthology, and I’m beyond ecstatic.

Fanfare Regalis - Brassroots
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Sisters - Brassroots
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Somewhere In New York - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 1. Velvet Hammer - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 2. Tequila Sunrise - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 3. White Russian - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 4. Piña Colada - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 5. Singapore Sling - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 6. Jimmy and Guinney - Brassroots
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Cocktail Suite - 7. Manhattan - Brassroots
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Half Mast - Brassroots
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The Warburton Arms - Brassroots
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Sentimental Journey - Brassroots
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Songs Of Erin - Brassroots
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Tuxedo Junction - Brassroots
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Here He Comes - Brassroots
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Corpus Christi - 2010

Down By The Riverside - The Canadian Staff Band of the Salvation Army
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Wrapped In Song - 2003

The first CD released by the Amabile Chamber Choir, this disc features sacred songs, songs of peace, folk songs from the world over, and a set of gospel pieces featuring renowned jazz singer, Denise Pelley.  I Go To The Rock and The Rain Is Over And Gone are two of my arrangements, originally written for the musical “The Gospel According To Jazz”, which premiered in 1999.  Later discovered by the Amabile Youth Singers, and they have been part of their library since.  I’m very pleased to have these two pieces included on this beautiful CD.

The Rain Is Over And Gone - Amabile Chamber Choir
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I Go ToThe Rock - Amabile Chamber Choir
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River - Journey To Wellspring - 2003

In 2002 I met with four members of Wellspring London and Region, a cancer support centre, and shared their experiences living with cancer.  River is a 30 minute work for full orchestra illustrating the extraordinary journeys taken by each member of “the quartet”.

 

"Music has this universal impact when you need comfort or inspiration or solace." - Shelley Markland (Wellspring executive director)

Clip 1 - Jeff Christmas
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Clip 2 - Jeff Christmas
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Clip 3 - Jeff Christmas
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Clip 4 - Jeff Christmas
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Clip 5 - Jeff Christmas
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Clip 6 - Jeff Christmas
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Clip 7 - Jeff Christmas
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Festivity - 2009

Long time musical colleague, Canadian Staff Band conductor John Lam  commissioned me to write an opening Fanfare and Intrada especially for this recording.  Living Flame takes as its inspiration the words of hymnwriter James Montgomery:

. . . “O for the living flame, from his own altar brought

To touch our lips, our minds inspire, and wing to Heaven our thought!

Living Flame - The Canadian Staff Band
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Songs To The Moon - 1999

Gabriel's Oboe - Merry Klazek
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Snow Has Fallen - 2001

This CD “Snow Has Fallen” is a rich mélange of musical groupings, styles, and moods.” - Ken Fleet, conductor of London Pro Musica

Together LPM and Brassroots set out to record a Christmas CD to include repertoire which has not been previously recorded.  Among the Brassroots pieces is my arrangement of Here He Comes (aka “Here Comes Santa Claus”).  This 10 piece brass setting was adapted from my Big Band version, written in 1987.

Here He Comes - London Pro Musica - Brassroots
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A Christmas Celebration - 1994

Carol Of The Bells - Amabile Youth Singers-London Citadel Band
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Rising Sun - 2004

Someone To Watch Over Me - The Canadian Staff Band - Jens Lindemann
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Portrait - Intrada Brass - 2006

Songs Of Erin, my very first arrangement for Large Brass Ensemble, has been among the most sought after pieces in my library to date.  It has been performed by a multitude of “Trumpet Divas” around the world and can be heard on “Spirit Of The Pioneers”, “Excelsior” and “Travellin’ Light”.  World renowned Russell Gray of Glasgow, Scotland performs on both “Travellin’ Light” and “Portrait”.  Enjoy.

Songs Of Erin - Intrada Brass
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Jazzabel - 2005

Original cast recording to the stage production of Jazzabel, featuring Denise Pelley, Stephen Holowitz (piano), Mitch Tyler (bass), and yours truly on “traps”.  The music is compiled of jazz hits from the 30’s as well as some lesser known tunes.  I also had the pleasure of supplementing the 30’s jazz score with a few original songs of my own, co-written by playwright and lyricist Jacquie Gauthier.

Sugar/Just You, Just Me - Denise Pelley
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Somewhere In New York - Denise Pelley
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What A Little Moonlight Can Do - Denise Pelley
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He May Be Your Man But He Comes To See Me Sometime - Denise Pelley
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Ain't No Hurry Baby - Denise Pelley
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I Got A Right To Sing The Blues - Denise Pelley
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Let's Beat Out Some Love - Denise Pelley
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Blues In The Night - Denise Pelley
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Gloomy Sunday - Denise Pelley
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Fine Brown Frame - Denise Pelley
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We had Yesterday - Denise Pelley
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I've Got Rhythm/I've Got The World On A String/This Is My Lucky Day - Denise Pelley
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International Brass Soloists - 1991

In my final years at The University of Western Ontario I was trying to establish myself as a composer, and was given the challenge of creating an “intrada” for my good friend and teacher Eric Schultz.  IBS (International Brass Soloists) was made up of 5 “internationally” acclaimed brass soloists: Ifor James, James Watson, Michael Lind, Stanley Clark, and of course Erik.  This music was to be used as their signature piece, played before every concert.

IBS - Intrada ("Fanfare and Chorale") - International Brass Soloists
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I'm Home - 2001

In 1999 I was asked to take the reins and create a dozen new arrangements for the already popular “Gospel According To Jazz”.  The show was a typical blend of Gospel and Jazz music, scored for a multitude of instruments and voices.  “I’m Home” is another Denise Pelley compilation, including some highlights from “GATJ”.

. . . “when you listen to these songs it will feed your soul and lift your spirit as you continue on your journey home.” - Denise Pelley

Hush, Somebody's Calling My Name - Denise Pelley
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Way Beyond The Blue - Denise Pelley
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His Eye Is On The Sparrow - Denise Pelley
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How Can I Keep From Singing - Denise Pelley
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Guardian Of Our Way - 1997

Russian Sailor's Dance - London Citadel Band
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Gaîté Canadienne - 2002

Festival Fanfare and Theme was commissioned by Bram Gregson and Intrada Brass for this recording.  Originally composed for concert band, I wrote this work for my good friend, conductor Richard Arrigo, to be premiered at the 1999 Tulip Festival in Ottawa, Ontario.  The piece was formulated to pay homage to long time idol, composer John Williams, who is best known for his contribution to film music but also a noted composer of ceremonial music.

Festival Fanfare and Theme - Intrada Brass
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Excelsior - 1993

Songs Of Erin - London Citadel Band
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By Request - 2003

In the summer of 2001, London Ontario hosted the Canada Summer Games.  I was commissioned to compose the music for the Opening Ceremonies, which took place at TD Waterhouse Stadium at the University Of Western Ontario and was broadcasted live on TSN.  This CD includes a transcription of Land Of Lakes And Rivers for Symphonic Band.  

Land Of Lakes And Rivers - Encore...the Concert Band
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Divertimento - 1993

Gabriel's Oboe - Brassroots - Roger Harvey
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España a tambor batiente (Spain) - Brassroots - Roger Harvey
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Brassroots 25 - 2011

Sisters - Brassroots
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Christmas In Brass - 1992

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas - Brassroots
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The Blessed Son Of God - Brassroots
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In Dulci Jubilo - Brassroots
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Home Alone For Christmas - Brassroots
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Christmas From The Heart - 2007

It is always a pleasure working with Denise, one of Canada’s finest singers, and this CD was no exception.

There are many versions of my arrangement of Silent Night.  Originally scored for Denise and full choir, it has since taken on several forms.  I hope you enjoy this rendition, specifically crafted to compliment the tone and flow of this recording.

Silent Night - Denise Pelley
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Christ Is Born! - 2011

Carol Of The Bells - The Canadian Staff Band
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Canadian Voices - 2004

This CD contains one of my most cherished compositions, The Warburton Arms.  Composed in 1995 as a solo piano piece, dedicated to the memory of my Grandad, Arthur James Christmas.  It was immediately scored for Brassroots (London, Ontario) and has been a staple in their repertoire since.  The flugel horn soloist is and always was Julia Meyers (Vaughan) of London, who sounds better every time she plays it.

The Warburton Arms - Brassroots
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August Light - 2001

Sagittarius - Sharon Costello
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Watercolours - Sharon Costello
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Love and Music - Sharon Costello
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Moment Of Truth (A Mother's Anthem) - Sharon Costello
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If I Fell - Sharon Costello
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August Light - Sharon Costello
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That Holiday Feeling - 2008

Carol Of The Bells - Intrada Brass of Oakville
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Spirit of the Pioneers - 1994

Songs Of Erin - The Canadian Staff Band
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Travellin' Light - 2004

Russell Gray has been a professional soloist for the last 15 years, establishing himself as one of the world’s leading exponents in the art of cornet playing.  His version of Songs Of Erin can be heard on “Portrait Intrada Brass” and his own compilation “Travellin’ Light”.  By far, some of the finest “cornet crooning”  I have heard.  I am honoured to have had Russell record my music.

Songs Of Erin - Russell Gray
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© 2015 WRITE ON MUSIC

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