For thirty-one years I was Music Director at Brookside Community Church in Brookside, N.J. My job was to prepare the Adult Choir to perform service music and anthems for the Sunday morning services along with other yearly celebrations. One of these was the service of Tenebrae. The word “tenebrae” is Latin for shadows and the Tenebrae service often occurs on Maundy Thursday, the day before Good Friday. It is a dark and somber event. One year, I hired a string quartet and English horn for Tenebrae and realized that this would be a perfect time to write music for a service I always thought to be deeply profound. Tenebrae was the result. Over the years, the work has been orchestrated into many configurations: trumpet and organ, baritone and strings, the 2nd movement of a concerto for oboe and strings which morphed into saxophone and strings, and Conn-O-Sax and organ. In any of the configurations, the work is contemplative and deeply emotional.
Random Acts for trumpet and piano is presented in five movements: 1. Proceed 2. Aria Blue 3. Torque 4. Aria White 5. Return. The intentional allusion to opera foreshadows the content of the drama. Proceed is an overture of sorts, complete in itself, introducing ideas that will return in various guises. Aria Blue is soulful, lyrically introspective. Torque is a burst of rhythmic and contrapuntal energy. Aria White is a bookend to Aria Blue but with a warmer outlook. Return is an altered recap of music from the previous four movements.