FALL 2012 ITEA Journal 

Concertino for Tuba and Wind Band by Charles L. Booker, Jr. Booker Music Publications. Fort Smith, AR 72901. clcmbooker@sbcbglobal.net. www.charlesbooker.com. 2007. Score and Parts: $120, Score: $20, piano reduction and solo: $35, Tuba Solo: $10.

Charles L. Booker, Jr. has written a charming new solo for the tuba repertoire entitled Concertino for Tuba and Wind Band. With beautiful soaring melodies and exciting accompaniment, this petite concertino is entertaining and fun to perform.

Booker is Associate Professor of Theory and Composition at the University of Arkansas—Fort Smith. Mr. Booker has a tremendous resume in the field of composition and conducting and has worked with numerous prestigious ensembles including the United States “Pershing’s Own” Army Band, the United States Army Field Band, and the United States Military Academy Band (West Point).

The work was composed as a “tour de force” for Dr. Kevin Sanders, professor of tuba at the University of Memphis. A wonderful recording of Dr. Sanders and the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble performing the work can be found on the album entitled “Radiant Blues: the Music of Charles L. Booker, Jr., Vol. 4.” The Concertino is written in three sections marked Scherzo Grazioso, Adagio e dolce, and Allegro. Each section moves directly into each other with no breaks. The work has a real organic feel, almost as if you are taking a walk on a pleasant Sunday afternoon! It opens with a free flowing melody in the Scherzo Grazioso that showcases the technique and musicianship of the soloist. The Adagio e dolce continues with a pleasant and happily lazy melody, which shows off the melodic nature of the tuba. Finally the Allegro section caps off the work with a sparkling energetic finish in 6/8 time.

This is a terrific addition to the repertoire as it is difficult to find a character filled piece that is not too long and can really help create variety in a wind ensemble concert.

The total performance time of the piece is just over seven minutes. Although the range of the work is FF-Bb1, most of the work is really played between F and e1. The work in not difficult rhythmically as it contains only a few rhythmically complex sections. The time signature is consistent at 3/4 in the first two sections and 6/8 in the closing section. A college student with good range or a professional would be best suited for this piece. All parts are printed well and are easy to read. There is a good piano reduction of the work and would make a nice inclusion on any recital. –Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University

Radiant Blues CD recording featuring Dr. Kevin Sanders, tuba and the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble, Dr. Kraig Alan Williams, conductor. Mark Records. 10815 Bodine Road, Clarence, NY 14031-0406. 9574-NCD. Contact Charles Booker directly at clcmbooker@sbcglobal.net purchase information. The album can also be found at www.amazon.com. $16.

The CD recording Radiant Blues features the music of Charles L. Booker Jr. and includes his work Concertino for Tuba and Wind Band performed by Dr. Kevin Sanders and the University of Memphis Wind Ensemble. All of the music on this album is terrific. However, this review will focus only on the Concertino for Tuba and Wind Band.

Charles L. Booker, Jr. has written a charming solo for the tuba with beautiful soaring melodies and exciting accompaniment, this petite concertino is entertaining and fun. It is a terrific addition to the repertoire as it is difficult to find a character filled piece that is not too long and can really help create variety in a wind ensemble concert. This is the premier recoding of the work and was written for Dr. Kevin Sanders, professor of tuba at the University of Memphis.

I have the highest praise for Dr Kevin Sanders’ performance of the work. His sensitivity, musicality and clarity on this recording are all top notch. His exceptionally musical style brings the first section of the work to life while the technical, allegro ending showcases Sanders’ amazing facility on the tuba! –Steven Maxwell, Kansas State University

Concertino for Tuba and Wind Band