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PACIFIC FANFARE for concert band, antiphonally arrayed

Pacific Fanfare by Frank Ticheli. Hear streaming audio on this page. Suitable for college and high school bands, 5 1/2 minutes duration, Grade 5. Band arrayed for antiphonal sound.


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Pacific Fanfare, scored for woodwinds, brass and percussion, exploits several spatial characteristics of a large concert hall. Onstage, the brass and percussion sections are separated into two antiphonal choirs, with the woodwinds and timpani situated in the middle. Offstage, peripheral solo trumpet and horn project sounds from behind the audience.

The piece is a tribute to the great Venetian composer, Giovanni Gabrieli, who brilliantly utilized the space of St. Mark's Cathedral in his polychoral works and antiphonal fanfares.

There are two main themes, one based on wide melodic leaps (successive ascending fifths), the other based on a rapid repeated-note figure. In the beginning they are nostalgic and elegiacal, but by the second half of the piece they take on more grand, fanfare-like personalities.

Pacific Fanfare was completed in June of 1994 during a summer residency at Yaddo, an artist colony in Saratoga Springs, New York. It was composed as a gift to Carl St.Clair and the Pacific Symphony Orchestra.


The peripheral solo horn and trumpet players: The peripheral solo horn and trumpet players should be positioned behind the audience, as far away and as high as possible (e.g., behind the highest balcony, at the exit doors, or even behind closed exit doors). If the design of the performance hall does not allow for this set-up configuration, the two soloists may be positioned in other locations such as at ground level or offstage, but they should not be placed on stage with the other performers.

The onstage brass and percussion: The onstage brass and percussion are separated into two choirs, one positioned at stage left, the other at stage right. The two choirs should be kept far away from one another so that the desired antiphonal effect is achieved, as illustrated below:

On a small stage it may be impossible to maintain the desired degree of spatial separation, and it is reasonable to experiment with any of the following to enhance the audio-visual separation:




 Introduction, and Chorale  1 - 19  E-flat
 A section  20 - 33  E-flat
 B section  34 - 57  C - F - B-flat - E-flat
 A' section  58 - 70  E-flat
 Coda  71 - 77  E-flat




There are two main thematic ideas used throughout the work. The first one is the primary material for the offstage horn introduction, the chorale, and the A sections of the fanfare. A pair of ascending 5ths (motive x) begins each phrase segment of the theme, and functions as the work's most important motive.

The second theme is the primary material for the offstage trumpet solo and the B section of the fanfare. A series of 32nd notes urgently wedge outward from the starting note:



Although the offstage solos should not be conducted, they should be played in fairly strict tempo with a minimum of rubato. The offstage trumpeter may use a piccolo or Eb trumpet if he or she desires (transposed parts are provided for Bb, C, and Eb trumpets). Likewise, the onstage 2nd trumpet solo (measures 8-9) may be played on an Eb trumpet for greater ease of playing.

There is a great deal of antiphonal writing throughout the work. Strive to maintain equal balance among the two brass choirs (Choirs II and III). All accented pairs of 16th notes (motive x) should sound very distinct, and never too legato.

In meas. 56, make sure that all three percussion entrances are distinct. The timpani solo (again, motive x) should be especially distinct. In measures 73 and 74, make sure that the antiphonal tam tams are played exactly as written, and equal in volume.

Frank Ticheli



Copyright © 2002 Manhattan Beach Music. All Rights Reserved.

Performance by the University of Colorado Wind Ensemble, Allan McMurray, conductor.

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