David Childs & David Thornton present The Leading Edge
April 09 2015

“The Leading Edge is a series of solo works for euphonium that push boundaries. The formats and structures are varied, using composers from many different backgrounds, but the concept is a constant: to provide our repertoire with fresh blood. The works are innovative yet practical; pushing boundaries isn’t always about being super contemporary or extraordinarily difficult, though there are certainly some challenging pieces presented here!

The compositional process is fascinating, how new ideas come to fruition and are given a voice through the chosen instrument. The composers involved in this project have been selected very carefully – musicians who see their work as having a distinct voice and strive for this in their musical language or sound worlds within their music.

From unaccompanied works to electro-acoustic repertoire, from conventional form with piano to programmatic music with chamber groups, the series covers a broad spectrum of styles that will suit euphonium players with the desire to find new expressive avenues for our instrument. We have enjoyed learning and performing these pieces as we hope you do too.”

David Childs & David Thornton

CALLING Jay C. Batzner
Solo Euphonium & Electronic Drone
The soloist performs above a drone track of ever increasing intensity, the single melodic line cleverly creating moments of harmonic tension and resolution. 

Solo Euphonium & Piano
The music depicts a dream of increasing tension, followed by an extrovert dance, before a final flourish brings reconcilliation between the two instruments. 

Solo Euphonium, Octave Effects Pedal & Digital Playback
A virtuosic journey through funk styles enhanced by electronic effects and a backing track using rhythm section, low brass and vocals. 

PHOENIX SONG David Harrington 
Solo Euphonium & Piano
A dramatic and challenging fantasy from a leading young composer inspired by the myth surrounding the great firebird of Persian legend. 

Solo Euphonium
Giving as much musical freedom to the performer as possible, the title gives a concise explanation of the composer’s hopes for this demanding work. 

TIAMAT Lucy Pankhurst
Solo Euphonium & Brass Quintet
Named after a dragon from the adventure game and cartoon Dungeons & Dragons, Tiamat explores a narrative in which the soloist plays the role of a dragon slayer! 

SKUNK Simon Parkin 
Solo Euphonium & Piano
Composed in a jazz-rock idiom Skunk seeks to explore both the technical and lyrical boundaries of both the euphonium soloist and pianist. 

KUKLOS Deri Roberts 
Solo Euphonium & Tape
Intertwined with pre-recorded tape, Kuklus, portrays a performer practising alone, bringing to the stage what is normally practised away from it. 

Solo Euphonium & Digital Playback
A light-hearted take on the ‘horror’ genre depicting a descent into nightmare, with wind, thunder, and lightning, intertwined with a whole host of other ghostly sounds. 


Solo Euphonium & Piano
Described by the composer as, “A kind of collision between “Balkan” rhythms and funk-fusion, with some walking bass thrown in for good measure!”