This work was commissioned as a
celebration of the life and work of Murray Slater, the inspirational
musical director of Derbyshire County Youth Wind Band, who sadly died
in 2000. Murray was greatly loved and respected in the wind and brass
band world, was a fine trumpeter and teacher, and was universally known
as “Man of Music”.
Celebration attempts to capture facets
of Murray’s personality. The Rondo’s theme has a witty rhythmic twist
to it, the Valse Triste features a solo trumpet, and the concluding
March contrasts a Prokofievian theme with a slower “big tune” that
attempts to match the stature of the man.
The first performance took place on
12th July 2002 in Chesterfield, with the Derbyshire City &
County Youth Wind Band, conducted by the composer.