A Birthday Fancy

A Birthday Fancy
for two trombones & piano
by
Dan Locklair

A Birthday Fancy was commissioned by Jean-Marie Barker early in 2020 and completed on April 11, 2020. The commission celebrated the June 19, 2020, birthday of Ms. Barker’s trombonist husband, David Archer. Sharing in the dedication of the piece, is friend and former Archer trombone student, Robert Conquer, on the occasion of his 20th birthday on June 29, 2020.

Imitation abounds throughout the single-movement A Birthday Fancy. Approximately four-minutes in length, A Birthday Fancy is for two trombones and piano. It is in three primary sections. The slow and majestic opening section is filled with motivic fourths and fifths in the trombones, even as a lyrical melody unfolds in the piano. Dotted rhythms and a somewhat jazzy spirit characterize this section. A tempo increase leads to the more gentle middle section. Underpinned by an undulating accompaniment in the piano, this section’s primary melodic idea lyrically alternates between the trombones and the piano. As the section progresses, hints of the traditional Happy Birthday tune are heard, becoming more obvious in the trombones at the climax point. A return to the opening tempo and spirit of the first section marks the beginning of the third section. With rich upper-register sonorities in the trombones and piano, A Birthday Fancy concludes as the piano offers a final quote from the well-known birthday tune.

Dan Locklair
Winston-Salem, North Carolina (USA)