The movements reflect three general areas of the United States in which I have lived during my adult life. "Sunset Strip" is brash, it's flashy, it's glitter and chrome — and maybe even a bit reckless. "Friday Harbor" is a warm and pensive movement, bringing to mind the beautiful Puget Sound. It's an area very dear to me — an area almost holy, as hinted at by the final cadence. "Ellis Island" is an ethnic dance, conjuring up visions of colorful swirling skirts. And whether or not one’s ancestors actually came through that famous immigration center, this movement represents that little bit of "Ellis Island" in all of us.

"American Trilogy" was premiered by Quintet California in Los Angeles in 1983 and performed a year later in New York by the Pandean Players in conjunction with a "Meet the Composer" grant. It has become a favorite part of the repertoire of many quintets around the world.

The NY Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet performed the Trilogy on March 14, 2010, at Merkin Concert Hall in New York City, on a program including works by Elliott Carter, Rand Steiger, Benjamin Britten, and Robert Schumann.

"American Trilogy" will be released on a new CD by the NY Philharmonic Woodwind Quintet in 2010.

Click the link above to hear an mp3 of the last movement, "Ellis Island," recorded by the Quintet of the Americas in 1991 for the Newport Classics label.

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