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Concerto for Tuba and Wind Band

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Kenneth Amis

Kenneth Amis

General Info

Year: 2007
Duration: c. 30:00
Difficulty: VII (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Amis Musical Circle
Cost: Score and Parts - $170   |   Score (Purchase) - $12


Full Score
Solo Tuba
Flute I-II
English Horn
Bassoon I-II
Bb Soprano Clarinet I-II-III
Bb Bass Clarinet
Eb Alto Saxophone I-II
Bb Tenor Saxophone
Eb Baritone Saxophone
Bb Trumpet I-II-III
Bb Flugel Horn
Horn in F I-II-III-IV
Trombone I-II
Trombone III (Bass)
Tuba I-II
String Bass
Percussion I–II, including:

  • Cymbals (crash and suspended)
  • Triangle
  • Marimba
  • Vibraphone
  • Tam-Tam


None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Concerto for Tuba was commissioned in 2006 by Dr. Frederick Harris and the MIT Wind Ensemble. Although I have had many commissions, this was the first time I was commissioned to write a piece that I, as an instrumentalist, would premier. It has often been the case that my professional performing activities have had a strong influence on my composition activities and this was no exception. Sections of this work were directly inspired by recent performances I had of Thaïs with the Palm Beach Opera and The Rite of Spring and Also Sprach Zarathustra with the Minnesota Orchestra. Concerto for Tuba was completed on February 24, 2007, premiered on March 12. The 2008 Albany Records CD titled Solo Eclipse documents its second performance, which took place on March 17, 2007 at Kresge Auditorium in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Concerti featuring a wind instrument, especially a brass instrument, are usually relatively short compared to those written for strings or the piano. In setting forth to write a tuba concerto, I felt it was important to create a work for the instrument that is substantive as well as musically and programmatically marketable. The result is a composition that, at over 30 minutes in length, offers both the soloist and ensemble many opportunities for both dramatic and subtle expression.

The first movement, Allegro moderato dramatico, reveals itself in the traditional concerto-sonata form, complete with tutti and solo expositions. The dark, heavy character of the A theme leads itself well to being exploited on the tuba while a tender and lyrical B theme allows the tuba player to display a sensitivity and expressiveness not often associated with the instrument. The entire movement builds toward the last measure that elides into the Largo Fantasia.

The more fluid, almost improvisatory, motion and gentle temperament of the second movement provide a much needed contrast to the first. A haunting refrain on the piccolo serves to frame the movement’s many sections. The contrapuntal lines of this movement do not possess the disciplined singularity of purpose inherent in the contrapuntal lines of first. They enjoy a coexistence that is more musically independent. This gives the movement a sense of freedom deserving of the title Fantasia.

The Allegro Spiritoso re-establishes the tone and weight of the first movement. Displaying characteristics of both a march and a dance, it unfolds in an expanded ternary form (rondo form) with a kinetic intensity that builds to a dramatic conclusion.

- Program Note by Kenneth Amis.

Commercial Discography

Audio Links

State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


  • MIT Wind Ensemble (Frederick Harris, conductor; Kenneth Amis, tuba) - 1 May 2010

Works for Winds by this Composer

Additional Resources

None discovered thus far.