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Death Valley Kangaru (2022)

version for tuba and orchestra
version for tuba and band
Commission/Premiere Info
Death Valley Kangaru was commissioned by Patrick Rettger and a consortium and premiered by Patrick Rettger and the Jackson State University Wind Ensemble (dir. Lowell Hollinger) on April 20, 2022.
Program Notes

You say (as Jon McEnroe might have said): "You cannot be serious: kangaroos in Death Valley? Everyone knows there are no kangaroos in Death Valley." "Harrumph!" (say I), "Tell that to
Dipodomys (the kangaroo rat). Hah! What did you think I meant?" Dipodomys is also known as the kangaroo rat because, according to Wikipedia "They hop in a manner similar to the much larger kangaroo." In this concerto, the tuba hops about in a manner quite dis-similar to that of the much smaller Dipodomys, with humongous, death-defying leaps. And why Death Valley? Death Valley's elevation is the lowest in North America, just as the tuba is one of the lowest instrument in the orchestra. Finally, please consider this: Dipodomys is not the only Death Valley creature whose English name begins with "Rat". In fact, the only programmatic section of Death
Valley Kangaru stretches between measures 108 and 132. This section evokes images of rattlesnakes. The listener will hear motives representing walking (of humans), slithering, rattling and biting. So now, go have a blast, but be careful!!

Consortium Members

Patrick Rettger, consortium lead

David Bretz
Velvet Brown, International soloist & Distinguished Professor of Music, Penn State
Dustin Barr, Director of Wind Symphony, CSU Fullerton
Zach Collins, Professor of Tuba and Euphonium, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
James Green, Faculty, Ohio Northern University
Jonathan Helmick, Conductor, Slippery Rock University Wind Ensemble
Lowell Hollinger, Director, Jackson State University Wind Ensemble
Beth Chouinard-Mitchell, International Performing Artist/Clinician, Eastman Winds
Kent Nelson, Director, Davis County Celebration Orchestra
Allen Parrish
Richard Perry, Assistant Professor of Music, Assistant Professor of Music

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