This piece was originally written for my percussion teacher, John Beck, to celebrate his 65th birthday. I also performed on the concert with John Beck. It was at this birthday celebration that John played the solo timpani part for the premiere performance of this work, which was written and dedicated to him. He was accompanied by the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. The conductor for the premiere performance was Ernest Muzquiz, who is also a former student of John Beck.
This piece is definitely advanced. The solo timpani part is difficult – it is written for a professional or advanced college level soloist. The ensemble parts should be playable by most college ensembles, or an advanced high school ensemble. The first movement is titled Legacy, which of course, is about the legacy of John Beck as a percussionist – performer, teacher, and composer. The second movement Retrospective, is looking back over John’s long and influential career in music. The third movement Celebration, is a joyful celebration of John’s life as a performer, teacher, composer, and driving force in the world of percussion.