Trombone in mixed quintets, standard brass quintets, and brass choir by Howard J. Buss

Compositions and Arrangements
Grading Scale:
I-II: Easy
III-IV: Intermediate
V-VI: Advanced
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Trombone in chamber music - quintets and sextets (includes brass quintets and choirs) Works are in alphabetical order, durations are in parenthesis:

AMERICAN PHOENIX (2001) for solo bass trombone (or tuba) and four percussion was commissioned for Stefan Sanders and the 30th Anniversary of the International Trombone Assn. It was composed following the world events of September 11, 2001 and premiered by Mr. Sanders and the University of North Texas Percussion Ensemble at the 2002 International Trombone Festival. The 3 movements are: In Remembrance 9/11/01, Repercussions, and Renewal. Percussion Distribution - Percussion 1: Xylophone, tubular bells (chimes), suspended cymbal, snare drum, police whistle, and bell tree; Percussion 2: Vibes, suspended cymbals, tom toms, bongos, and wood block; Percussion 3: Marimba, tam-tam, lion roar, ratchet, slapstick, wind chimes, and suspended cymbal; Percussion 4: Marimba (to low A), timpani, tambourine, cowbells, and suspended cymbal."Buss’ melodies vary. They are mystic, poignant, heroic, often modal, and at times reminiscent of folk songs. He writes for the percussion ensemble with mastery and features a wide range of instruments. The sound landscape is rich with many moods and timbres. American Phoenix is an powerful addition to a solo program or as a feature piece for a percussion recital. It is rewarding for both performer and audience.”- The ITA Journal, January 2005 (15’) Grade V.
Score Samples: Mvt. 1 “In Remembrance” 9/11/01.pdf; Mvt. 2 “Repercussions”.pdf;

Mvt. 3 “Renewal”.pdf

Sound Samples: Movement 1 (In Remembrance 9/11/01), Excerpt A.mp3; Excerpt B.mp3;

Movement 2 (Repercussions), Excerpt A.mp3; Excerpt B.mp3;

Movement 3 (Renewal), Excerpt A.mp3; Excerpt B.mp3

Video on YouTube

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Brass Miniatures coverBRASS MINIATURES for brass quintet is in 4 movements inspired by light and images reflected on polished brass: On the Edge, Refractions, Facets, and Illuminated Reflections. In November of 2018 the composer found a box labeled “1974” in a storage closet. It contained a collection of long-lost scores he had composed 4½ decades earlier. Upon examining the music it was apparent that in these works was a trove of youthful musical ideas that could be developed, polished, and edited into exciting “new” compositions. The musical content of first 3 movements of is close to that in the 1974 brass quintet. The final movement was rewritten to include elements of the original score, but updated to be closer to the composer’s current musical language. While On the Edge, Refractions, and Facets, have a decided edginess to them; Illuminated Reflections is more consonant and lyrical. It includes subtle references to material in the previous movements as well a buffed rendition of the opening melody of the first movement in its coda. (7’22”) Grade V.
Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3;

Excerpt 4.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpts.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

BROM BONES for 10-part brass choir musically depicts the character and exploits of Washington Irving’s dashing prankster in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The musical ensemble consists of 4 Bb trumpets (an optional Eb part is included for trumpet 1), one horn, 3 tenor trombones, one bass trombone, and tuba. This composition is in 5 movements:
       I. Overture
      II. The Smoke Out
      III. The Schoolhouse Caper
      IV. Ichabod’s Romance
      V. Night Encounter        
Following the energetic and heroic Overture, in The Smoke Out tone clusters represent the buildup of smoke in Ichabod’s singing school. Chorale-like passages suggest the music of the singers in training. The movement ends in transition, as Brom Bones and his small band of pranksters gallop off to their next adventure. The third movement, The Schoolhouse Caper, combines very aggressive and topsy-turvy passages with humorous, plodding interjections. Ichabod’s Romance begins as a beautiful unaccompanied ballad which is abruptly disturbed by a cacophony of muted brass, suggesting the whining of Brom’s mocking dog. Beautiful hymn-like sections serve as the backdrop to heartfelt solo passages, which are again disturbed by Brom’s annoying dog. The movement ends as it began, with the beautiful  solo. The intense final movement, Night Encounter, depicts Ichabod’s frightening and fateful run-in with the Headless Horseman, suspected by some to be Brom Bones  in disguise. (14’30”) Grade V.

- Video on YouTube

Sound samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3

Score sample: Excerpts.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

CHROMATIC FANTASY (1997) for brass quintet was composed for the United States Air Force Brass Quintet. This exciting and “tour de force” is a riveting excursion through driving ostinati and sparkling chromatic flourishes. Chromatic Fantasy was premiered by the U.S.A.F. Brass Quintet at the Eastern Trombone Workshop hosted by the U.S. Army Band in Ft. Meyer, VA. (8’) Grade V-VI.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1 (the opening).mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3

Score sample: Excerpt.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

CONCORD (1990) for brass quintet. Lyrical passages are juxtaposed with fanfare-like sections to create a dramatic and festive atmosphere. Written for the opening of a performing arts high school in Florida, this exciting composition was winner of the 1991 “Erik Satie Mostly Tonal Award.”
(6’) Grade V. -
Video on YouTube

Sound Excerpts: Sample 1.mp3; Sample 2.mp3; Sample 3.mp3 - Score sample: Excerpt.pdf

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

DREAM SEQUENCE (1987) for trombone or euphonium and 4 percussion was inspired by Carl Sagan’s poetic observation about dreams: “Late at night, when it is very still and the obligatory dreams have been dreamt, the gazelles and dragons begin to stir.” Subdued, mystical sections contrast with energetic and rhythmic episodes in a manner resembling a progression of dreams. Percussion distribution: Percussion 1: Marimba, celesta (muted orchestra bells may be substituted), suspended cymbal, claves, and cow bells; Percussion 2: Vibes, maracas, bass drum and temple blocks; Percussion 3: Orchestra bells, guiro, and suspended cymbals; Percussion 4: Chimes (tubular bells), bongos, wind chimes, tam-tam, triangle, and lion roar. “Worth programming and highly recommended.” - Percussive Notes. (10’)
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3   View on YouTube 

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

ECLIPSE for flute, oboe, clarinet, trumpet, horn, trombone, and three percussion was composed in 1974. There is a feeling of suspense throughout during this musical representation of a solar eclipse. (6') Grade V.
Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3     - Video on YouTube               

Order from  Subito Music.

FLOURISHES for two brass quintets. Antiphonal brass quintets face off in this dramatic showpiece that culminates in a dazzling climax. A conductor is suggested. (9') Grade V-VI.

Order from  Subito Music.

SONATA K. 380 by Scarlatti, Domenico for brass quintet, transcribed by Howard J. Buss,was originally composed for keyboard by Domenico Scarlatti around the year 1754 and was titled Sonata in E Major K. 380 (Longo 23). This transcription for brass quintet preserves the essential traits of the composer’s unique style, including his compositional use of register with florid treble parts and a strictly functional, supportive bass. (6’30”)  Grade IV.

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

SONIC FABLES: “Lessons from Aesop” (1991) for brass quintet and one percussion. Entertaining musical representations of 6 of Aesop’s famous fables are presented between a Prelude and Postlude. The text of the fables is printed on a preliminary page to the score and may be used as written program notes. Each fable may also by recited by a member of the ensemble or a narrator prior to performing the accompanying movement. Because of the programmatic subject matter and the colorful spirit of the music, Sonic Fables works well with all types of audiences, including those of children. It is frequently performed as a feature number on school programs. Percussion: suspended cymbals, temple blocks, snare drum, tomtom, triangle, tambourine, wind chimes, xylophone, and tam-tam. The total duration is about 17 minutes; however, the 8 movements may be performed in smaller groupings.
(18’) Grade V-VI.
Sound Excerpts: Prelude.mp3 (with the beginning of narrator's lead-in to the first fable)

The Hawk and the Nightingale.mp3; The Middle-Aged Man and His Two Mistresses.mp3;

The Cat and the Rooster.mp3 (excerpt)

The PipingFisherman.mp3 (with the beginning of narrator's lead-in to the next movement)

The Fox and the Leopard.mp3; The Lion and the Bear.mp3; Postlude.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

Tribute To  Stephen Foster coverNew! TRIBUTE TO STEPHEN FOSTER “A Medley of Six Favorites” arranged for brass quintet by Howard J. Buss. Stephen Collins Foster (1826-1864) is often referred to as “the father of American music.” Many of his songs serve as a window into the spirit of America in his day. Others are exquisitely sentimental. Whether or not one approves of the lyrics of his minstrel songs, the enduring beauty and vitality of his melodies cannot be denied. In addition to the 6 Foster songs in this arrangement, Buss interjects 2 other well-known melodies. The “First Call” bugle call is woven into the tapestry of Camptown Races” and “The Girl I Left Behind Me” serves as a partner song to “Ring, Ring, the Banjo.”
I. “Old Black Joe”  (2’)
II. “Camptown Races” (1’40”)
III. “Beautiful Dreamer”  (2’15”)
IV. “Old Folks at Home” also known as “Swanee River” (2’12”)
V. “Ring, Ring the Banjo” – “Oh, Susannah!”  (2’41”)
The movements may be played individually or in smaller groupings. The total duration is about 11’ without pauses between the movements. Grade V.
Score sample: Excerpts.pdf

Sound Samples: Excerpt 1.mp3; Excerpt 2.mp3; Excerpt 3.mp3; Excerpt 4.mp3; Excerpt 5.mp3

Music available from Cimarron Music Press

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Trombone and Euphonium Music Index (includes music for bass trombone)
Click on an instrumentation link, works are listed in alphabetical order within each category:

Solo Trombone or euphonium- unaccompanied

Trombone or euphonium & one other instrument

(various combinations, including works with piano & electronic recording)

Trombone or euphonium with percussion ensemble

Trombone or euphonium ensembles

Trombone or euphonium in chamber music - trios
(includes brass trios)

Trombones or euphoniums in chamber music - quartets
(includes standard brass quartets)

Trombone in chamber music - quintets, sextets, and brass choir
(includes standard brass quintets)

Trombone or euphonium and band

Howard J. Buss, Composer       

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Trombone Music: Quintets and Brass Choir, graded catalog of sheet music. Product description: Trombone, Euphonium, Bass Trombone: Solos, Duos, Ensembles, Chamber Music and Recordings