And, perhaps more importantly, the euphonium also has Steven Mead.
An English euphonium virtuoso, Mead has perhaps done more to advance the instrument than any other musician, through his solo artistry, teaching (he has a studio at the Royal Northern College of Music), and, most importantly, premiering new works for his instrument. Already, he has premiered works by exciting modern composers such as Philip Sparke, Martin Ellerby, and Vladimir Cosma, as well as arrangements of existing orchestral work (my personal favorite being his recording of Friedrich Gulda's Cello Concerto). Numerous works have been written for Mr. Mead, and he is always in great demand as a recording artist and clinician. However, this particular project didn't start with him.
Like the old cliche says, it started with a dream. Mike Waddell's dream, actually. Mike and I were undergrads at IUP together, and he always had the drive for performance. During his time at IUP, he performed in master classes with Oystein Baadsvik, James Jackson, Jim Self, and many others. Mike won both the Johnstown Symphony Young Artist Competition and the IUP Wind Ensemble Concerto Competition, and currently studies with Adam Frey at Georgia State University, but his accomplishments speak for themselves: Where he stands apart from the rest is his inexhaustible desire for new music: During his time at IUP, he commissioned many new works from friends of ours such as Reed Hanna, Derek Cooper, and most prolifically, Anthony O'Toole.
It was for this reason that he founded EuphoniumCommissions.org. Mike envisioned an independent commission website for new euphonium music, seeing as it's a growing field and as fast as the new repertoire is coming, new players are emerging even quicker. Establishing an independent partnership between players and composers is the right way to go, ensuring things are done without any external bureaucracy. Another major step in the right direction was the commissioning of Frank Gulino. Frank is a composer whom I've gotten to know over the past few months since the commission started, and he excels at versatile and lyrical solo work, having written for numerous low brass performers at the Peabody Conservatory, where he received a Bachelor of Music Degree in Bass Trombone Performance. His chamber work, Tornado, for euphonium and brass quintet, was most notably premiered by Steven Mead in 2010. It was only natural that Mr. Mead premiere this milestone work for euphonium, which Frank titled "Infinite Escape." He's joined by Gail Novak on piano, at the University of Arizona's Low Brass Boot Camp 2012.
"Infinite Escape" has been published by Cimarron Music Press (Frank's longtime publisher, and now my new publisher as well).