My FANFARE for Organ is the result of a commission in the summer of 2000 from the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago for the church’s February 2001 Chicago International Organ Festival. I wish to extend my genuine gratitude to Fourth Church and its Organist and Director of Music, John Sherer, for their enthusiasm for my music and for offering me this commission.
Approximately five minutes in length, FANFARE for organ is in one movement. Though perhaps a different expression from the often expected one connoted by the term “fanfare”, FANFARE for Organ is, nonetheless, very festive in nature. Through crisp chords the opening measures introduce the limited harmonic and melodic building blocks on which the entire piece rests : Chords G – A – D, F – B♭ – C and A♭ – D♭- E♭. These chords, along with resulting six-note scales built upon each of the three tonic pitches, form both the harmonic and melodic foundation of the piece.
Following the brief “fanfare” chords, the primary melodic material is quickly introduced in the melodic dialogue between the manuals over a pedal point on the pitch “D”. Dialogues between the manuals abound until variants of the staccato fanfare-like chords return. Harmonic and melodic development continues, culminating in a climatic section of melody for double-pedal. Extending the opening melodic idea, a final section of long melody emerges over a ground bass centered on “D”, reflecting the melody itself in augmentation. For organs possessing a large reed stop (as with the Fourth Church organ), the broad melody in the manuals is intended for that sonority. After a climax is reached, the piece concludes with the same festive and driving energy that has been at the heart of the entire composition.