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Palm Sunday

Composer: Jason Baker

Instrument: Snare Drum

Level: Advanced

Published: 2014

Price: €10.00

Item details

  • Description +
    • Duration: 5 min.

      Palm Sunday consists of various short rhythmic motives that occur throughout the piece, often like characters in a novel or play. These motives are often presented in various orders, tempi, and mutations throughout the piece. The piece is comprised of three large sections, delineated by the use or lack snares, through which all motives occur freely – creating a through-composed single movement concert piece with the spirit of a short three movement work.

      This work was commissioned by a consortium led by Eric Willie and the Tennessee Tech. University Percussion Studio in 2012. Consortium members included students and faculty from: the University of Kentucky, University of South Carolina, University of Tennessee, University of North Texas, Western Kentucky State University, University of Utah, Texas A&M University at Commerce, East Tennessee State University, Dickinson State University, California State University at Long Beach, State University of New York at Oneonta, and SSG Robert Moore – U.S. Army Band.

  • Instrumentation +
    • Snare Drum

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  • About the composer +
    • Dr. Jason Baker serves as Director of Percussion Studies and Associate Professor of Music at Mississippi State University. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of North Texas, a Master of Music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, and a Bachelor of Music degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of Connecticut. 

      An active performer, Jason is a member of the Tupelo Symphony Orchestra (principal timpanist), Starkville Symphony Orchestra (principal percussionist), and the State Messengers faculty jazz combo. He has also performed with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and the Meridian (MS) Symphony Orchestra. Also a frequent solo performer and clinician, Jason has performed at five Percussive Arts Society International Conventions, the College Music Society National and Southern Regional Conferences, Mississippi Bandmasters Association Convention, the Texas Music Educators Association Convention, and universities throughout the country. 

      Dr. Baker has been published in Percussive Notes, with solo compositions and ensemble arrangements published by Drop6, Tap Space Publications, and Living Sound Publications. His works have been featured at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Snare Drum Competition, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention. Jason’s book, “15 Progressive Snare Drum Solos: A Pedagogical Approach to Repertoire”, was published with Drop6 in 2010.  He has released two solo CDs, "The Noble Snare" (2005) and “Three Works for Solo Snare Drum” (2013). He also serves as a music and publications reviewer for Percussive Notes and is a member of the PAS College Pedagogy Committee. 

      Jason was a performing member with the Glassmen, Boston Crusaders and Connecticut Hurricanes Drum and Bugle Corps and later served on the instructional staff of the Boston Crusaders. He is proud to be an artist for the Yamaha Corporation of America, Innovative Percussion, Remo drumheads, SABIAN cymbals, Grover Pro Percussion, and is President of the Mississippi Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society.

  • Reviews +
    • Review (Percussive Notes, July 2016)

      A delightful piece for both the hands and the mind, “Palm Sunday” is a single- movement solo for concert snare drum, five minutes in length when performed at the notated tempos. Structurally, the work is organized in three large sections (fast, slower with snares off, fast) clearly creating the sense of a traditional three-movement narrative.

      Musically, the piece unfolds through rapidly changing variations of several germinal rhythmic ideas. These motives dance and weave through multiple meter changes, often with quick technical segues to keep the hands engaged. The execution of these quickly morphing figures requires sharp dynamic contrast and control, precise treatment of the embellishments, and crisp rhythmic articulation to keep a sense of forward momentum.

      Technically, the rudiments required are largely contained to the standard “orchestral rudiments” (flams, 3- and 4-stroke ruffs, concert rolls). But the lively tempo markings require a full mastery of both single- and double-stroke rebounds as well. The work is not for beginning or even intermediate snare drummers. There is plenty of meat here, both technically and musically, for an audition, competition, or recital.

      The challenges presented in Jason Baker’s solo are written in an interesting vocabulary that is refreshing for those playing a steady diet of Delécluse and more established concert solos. I can easily recommend “Palm Sunday” for advanced players looking to polish their concert touch or refine their rhythmic security, or for anyone looking for performance material with a few surprise “twists and turns.”

      Phillip O’Banion

  • Credits +
    • Front Cover graphics and layout: Kirstine Kørner Jensen
      Photo: Mississippi State University Public Relations Office 
      Engraving: Jason Baker/Johan Svitzer
      Printed in Copenhagen, Denmark
      Copyright © Edition SVITZER