Mentoring Program

"Opus 33 Piece" by Alex Wick

Composer Name: Alex Wick
This piece is unfinished and meant for selection for Opus 33.
Grade Level: 9
Intended For: Live Instrument Performance
Software Used: Noteflight
Instrumentation: Trumpet, Piano, Drums
Key: F
Meter Signature: 4/4
Tempo: 184
Status: Work in Progress
Noteflight URL: Website Title


#1 Erik Nielsen 2018-02-06 11:15
Dear Alex,
Thanks for posting the first version of your trio for trumpet, piano and drums. I'm really happy to be your primary mentor this time around, since we haven't worked together in several years.

Your piece is off to a fine start, especially in the feel of the work. The drum set beat you've set up creates a good rhythmic carpet and the piano riff works well with it. The trumpet melody is very striking.

I do have two suggestions for you.
1. Although you've put the trumpet in a good key, you've gotten carried away a bit in bar 4, particularly for an Opus concert. You know the drill: rehearsals start at noon and go until 5 and then the concert comes at 6:30. With that intense a schedule, the first thing that fails is very high notes on trumpet due to fatigue. I've seen too many disappointed students not to comment early to save you that fate. You have several choices here. You can lower the line an octave, correct but not very exciting. You can alter the line so it still works with the harmony, such as moving it down a third so bar 4 starts on G rather than B. Or you can lower the entire piece by a whole step so it's in Eb rather than F. The trumpet part will be in F and bar 4 will be doable, though I wouldn't go above the staff much more at all for the rest of the piece.
2. The piano riff works well, but the right hand is too rigid right now. Admittedly there isn't a lot of music yet, but even in only eight bars using exactly the same chord throughout in right hand is too much. The rhythm is fine, so find some ways to make what you have a bit more flexible, not necessarily moving in parallel with the left hand, but moving when it moves at least some of the time. That way it will seem much more alive and less robotic.

Alex, as I wrote above, this is an exciting beginning. If you can work on the things I've written about and think what you want to come next, you ought to be able to make progress. Please let me know if you have questions. I look forward to your next posting.

Best wishes,

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