The Timberline Sonata (2011)

This piece is part of my National Park Series.

A 20-minute sonata in four movements for trumpet and piano.  Written in 2011 in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain National Park Artist-in-Residence Program.  Premiered at the Estes Park Music Festival, February, 2012.

I. Arrival
II. Trail Ridge Road
III. Lakes
IV. The Ascent

This piece was featured in an article in National Parks Magazine which can be read HERE.  


I was so fortunate to be selected as one of the 2010 Artists-in-Residence at Rocky Mountain National Park.  Although I had determined in advance that I'd be writing a trumpet sonata, I realized that I wouldn't have nearly enough time during my two-week residency to get the whole piece completed.  In order to capture the essence of the experience, and preserve it for later composing, I wrote about the things I wanted to say in each movement.  What began as jumbled thoughts, emotions, and images, quickly evolved into something resembling poetic prose.  I finished all four of these texts while spending time in the park and then created the music over the subsequent months - following my prose carefully as I composed.

The movements highlight four (of the many) iconic experiences associated with Rocky Mountain National Park.  First, the ARRIVAL - that memory of the initial time you come into the park and try to process the overwhelming variety of beauty that surrounds you.  Second, TRAIL RIDGE ROAD - surely one of the most beloved experiences of the park.  Third, I decided to focus on the endless variety of LAKES that the park has to offer and the range of moods they embody.  Last, and inevitably, THE ASCENT of Longs Peak - a dramatic and rewarding hike to the park's most imposing landmark. 

Below, I provide videos of three of the four sections.  Depending on the movement, images and/or words are provided to better tell the story behind the notes.