Compositions and Arrangements

David Fetter Publications for Brass

Quick Links

Spain in Bass Lines for Bass Trombone
Variations on Palestrina’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” for solo tenor or bass trombone
Five Men’s Choruses by Franz Liszt, arr. for five trombones
Impossible Joke for three trombones
Hallelujah Chorus for five trombones
Latin in Six Etudes and Two Mad Scenes
Morceau Symphonique piano accompaniment arranged for orchestra
Pilgrims’ Chorus from Wagner’s Tannhäuser arranged for four trombones
Radetzky March for eight trombones
Valdres March for eight trombones
Situation Update for tenor trombone and piano
Blazhevich’s Clef Studies 20, 39 and 60 – free piano accompaniment
Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer – free trombone solo part

Other Works – music for Chorus, Strings, Woodwinds and More

Publications by David Fetter

 Listed alphabetically by Title


A Motet and Three Madrigals – Mozart, Morley and Gibbons, arr. by David Fetter
choral music arranged for brass quintet. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Mozart: Ave Verum
Thomas Morley: My Bonny Lass
Orlando Gibbons: The Silver Swan
Thomas Morley: Now Is the Month of Maying

Mozart: Ave Verum – Right-Click to Download

Christopher Morley: My Bonny Lass – Right-Click to Download

Orlando Gibbons: The Silver Swan – Right-Click to Download

Christopher Morley: Now Is The Month of Maying – Right-Click to Download

Ave Maria by Gustav Holst , arr. by David Fetter – $22.00
Arranged for eight-part trombone ensemble. Originally for women’s voices, this early work offers a luminous celestial vision. All the parts are in bass clef. Time 5:00.
Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Hear it performed by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir with Fetter conducting in March 2012.

Pavane: The Battle (Die Schlacht) by Tielman Susato, arr. by David Fetter -$7.00
Arranged for four trombones. One happy, high-spirited battle. Time 2:10. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Hear a performance of this arrangement by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir in 2009 conducted by the arranger.

Bass Lines for Bass Trombone by David Fetter – $5.50
Bass Lines for unaccompanied bass trombone, composed in 1993, consists of four intentionally difficult etudes. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Contents: Boogie-Woogie, Spain, Flowing and Rock

Boogie-Woogie exploits a traditional left-hand piano figure, taking it through all keys, like an elaborate warm-up.

Spain was given its world premiere by Blair Bollinger, Bass Trombone of the Philadelphia Orchestra, at Temple University in 1996. His recording of Spain is found on his CD Fancy Free, which is available from TAP Music Sales. Ilan Morgenstern, Bass Trombone of the San Antonio Symphony Orchestra, performed Spain as a contest piece when he won Second Prize in the WAMSO Young Artists Competition, sponsored by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association. A performance of Spain has been posted on YouTube by bass trombonist Jed Hollerbach and many others..

Flowing is a minimalist challenge requiring concentration, breath control, and stamina, with long flowing patterns, slurs through the middle register, and references to rhythms found in the music of Charles Ives.

Rock begins and ends as a pounding bass guitar sequence, with a calm, jazz-cello style B section in between.

The Bass Trombone Wakes Up for bass trombone solo in a brass quintet by David Fetter – $20.00
The Bass Trombone Wakes Up is intended for young audiences. It was commissioned by Karl Wiederwohl and given its world premiere with him as soloist in the Continuum Brass Quintet in 2008. Time 5:40. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

See the first performance on YouTube.

Bicentennial Brass Music, arranged for brass quintet by David Fetter – score and parts $20.00 – New edition
A collection of music from American Revolutionary times, arranged for 2 B-flat trumpets, horn, trombone, and bass trombone (tuba). Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

The movements are:
The President’s March by Philip Phile 1:30
Minuet and Gavotte by Alexander Reinagle 2:00
General Burgoyne’s March, Bellamy Band 1:40
The Toast, “Tis Washington’s Health” by Francis Hopkinson 0:40
Two Minuets by Pierre Landrin Duport 4:15
Excerpts from “The Battle of Trenton”: Washington’s March, Hessian Surrender, Roslin Castle, Trumpets of Victory, Yankee Doodle by James Hewitt, with a coda added by the arranger, Fetter’s Finale 5:02
Total time 15:00

Portions of Bicentennial Brass Music have been recorded by Bay Street Brassworks.

Also, the Dallas Brass performed Trumpets of Victory and Yankee Doodle from the last movement of Bicentennial Brass Music as they toured across the United States in a concert/show titled “American Musical Journey”.  The show is preserved in the Dallas Brass CD of the same name, and is found on their YouTube channel.  The “American Musical Journey” CD is available on the Dallas Brass web site at

Change Process and Timeline by David Fetter – Unpublished
Change Process for trombone trio (2:15) and Timeline for trombone trio (1:05) depict the inherent bitter and/or stultifying counter-productivity of much well-meaning jargon-infested administrative activity. Timeline is dedicated to all who have sat in endless meetings. It is in brain-dead minimalist style. (It is to be played deadpan. Don’t make waves – like in a meeting.)


Gustav Mahler:  Choral Excerpt from Symphony No. 2,  arranged for 8-part trombone choir by David Fetter.  Score and parts  $16:00

This a setting of the hushed initial entry in the symphony of the chorus, with its assurance of souls rising to a new life.  In the full score the passage extends from Rehearsal No. 31 to No. 39 and occurs at around 1:15:00 in YouTube concert performance videos.

Hear an electronic file of this Choral Excerpt from Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection”

Available from Hickey’s Music Center.


Clef Studies 20, 39 and 60 by Vladislav Blazhevich – Free
Piano part only to accompany three exercises in the Blazhevich School for Trombone in Clefs published by East-West Music International, edition by Andrey Kharlamov and Michael Deryugin

Free PDF of piano accompaniment: Right-Click to Download.

Change Process and Timeline by David Fetter – Unpublished
Change Process for trombone trio (2:15) and Timeline for trombone trio (1:05) depict the inherent bitter and/or stultifying counter-productivity of much well-meaning jargon-infested administrative activity. Timeline is dedicated to all who have sat in endless meetings. It is in brain-dead minimalist style. (It is to be played deadpan. Don’t make waves – like in a meeting.).

Concertino for tenor trombone and orchestra by David Borden , piano reduction by David Fetter – $24.00
This work was first performed by Meco Monardo with the Eastman-Rochester Symphony Orchestra in the 1960’s, when soloist and composer were students at the Eastman School of Music. The style of the music and the tessitura of the trombone part are influenced by Stravinsky and modern jazz. TAP Music Sales lists this under Fetter. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Crucifige (Crucify Him) by Loyest Compère, arr. by David Fetter – $6.00
Arranged for four trombones. Perfect for your Maundy Thursday/Good Friday program. Time 1:42. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Daniel Speer, Stadtpfeiffer (1636-1707), by David Fetter – $30.00
David Fetter’s Master’s thesis on the middle-Baroque composer, author, and teacher; 65 pages of text, 57 pages of music. Available on special order from Hickey’s Music Center, stock number 88574.

Deep Water by David Fetter – $28.00
For eight-part trombone choir, preferably with two or more players on the top part.  Time 6:20. Ask for Deep Water at Hickey’s Music Center.

Commissioned by the 2008 Summer Trombone Workshop of Taipei, Taiwan, where the first performance was led by Workshop director Haim Avitsur. The work is dedicated to the Workshop and trombonists Huai-En Tsai and William Chu. The music refers to Taiwan’s surrounding ocean and the profound influence of the sea on the island’s culture and survival. The work grows from and culminates with the chords which open the fourth movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2.

See a video of the Baltimore premiere of Deep Water.

Elysian Suite by David Fetter – $22.00
Composed for the Elysian Trombone Consort. After the quartet’s West Coast premiere of the Elysian Suite the at the University of Southern California in 2012, faculty member Terry Cravens wrote, “They played it and we really liked it.” “Excellent work and challenging too!” Total time 10:30

There are some revisions in the third and fourth movements in the published version of the Elysian Suite. As a result, the third movement is slightly shorter and the fourth is slightly longer.

1. Fanfare – Time 1:00
2. Wind Chime – that persistent chord clinging in the wind is the basis for this movement. Time 3:00
3. Gongs – the gongs in this temple are large and deep. Time 2:30
4. March – a high-spirited trek through march fragments that remain in your mind years later. It dances. It struts. Traffic gets piled up along the way. Time 4:00

See videos on YouTube of the four movements of the Elysian Suite as they were performed by the Elysian Trombone Consort at the 2013 International Trombone Festival in Columbus, Georgia in the US.


The members of the Elysian Trombone Consort are Timothy Anderson, Brett Shuster, Nathan Siler and Chad Arnow (bass). The ensemble has appeared in recital at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, at the University of Southern California, at Mesa College in San Diego, in Baltimore at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, in Kentucky at the Elizabethtown State Theatre and in the historic Mt. Vernon United Methodist Church in Baltimore. The quartet was featured in a recital at the 2012 College Music Society National Convention in San Diego, and it was one of two quartets selected to play featured recitals at the 2013 International Trombone Festival.

The Elysian Trombone Consort premiered John Crouch’s Concerto for Four Trombones and Wind Ensemble with the Wind Ensembles of the Peabody and Cincinnati Conservatories. It has also premiered works by Walter Ross, Frank Gulino, Rodney Oakes, Don Bowyer and Matthew Vandegriff.


The Elysian Trombone Consort with the composer after the performance of Elysian Suite at ITF 2013. Left to right: Brett Shuster, Tim Anderson, David Fetter, Nathan Siler, Chad Arnow

Timothy Anderson is Assistant Professor of Trombone at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music. He is principal trombone of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performs regularly with the Cincinnati and Columbus Symphony Orchestras and as a soloist and clinician.

Chad Arnow is bass trombone in the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra. He also performs with the Cincinnati Symphony and Pops and he is on the faculties of Xavier University and the College of Mt. St. Joseph. He has also performed with the Columbus Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and West Virginia Symphony.

Grammy Winner Brett Shuster is Professor of Trombone at the University of Louisville. He has been a member of the Chestnut Brass Company and performed with the San Diego Symphony, Phoenix Symphony, Vermont Symphony, Arizona Opera and Boston with the Louisville Orchestra, where he has served as interim principal trombone and other roles.

Founding Elysian Trombone Consort member Nathan Siler recently served as auxillary second trombone of the Louisville Orchestra. He was principal trombone of the Orquestra de la SEC in Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico and has been a member of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. He has performed in the Cleveland Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, North Carolina Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Tucson Symphony and Dayton Philharmonic and the American Brass Quintet. A Peabody alumnus, he joins the faculty of Kentucky State University in the fall of 2013.

Exaudi Deus by Giovanni Gabrieli, arr.  by Eric Landers and David Fetter, score and parts –  $17.00
Arranged for 7-part trombone ensemble. A note-for-note transcription of a setting by Giovanni Gabrieli of the first three verses of Psalm 55 for seven deep men’s voices. First performed by the Baltimore Trombone Choir in the 1970s and edited by David Fetter for the Ellicott City Trombone Choir in 2010. Time 4:20. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Gustav Mahler:  Symphony No. 2 Finale, arranged by David Fetter for 8-part trombone choir, score and parts – $18.00
This setting of the final moments of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 “Resurrection” begins at Rehearsal No. 42 in the full score and continues complete to the work’s powerful close.   This passage begins in some YouTube concert videos at around 1:28:00.

Here is an electronic file of Symphony No. 2 Finale.

Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Five Men’s Choruses by Franz Liszt, arr. by David Fetter – $22.00
Arranged for trombone quintet or choir. Available at Hickey’s Music Center. Five engaging, accessible character pieces with appealing melodies and refined expression. Total time: 13:45

No. 1, Nothing Said! is whimsical and philosophical (nothing ventured, nothing gained).

No. 2, Green Fields is an unassumingly ardent description of a summer landscape.

No. 3, Calm Over the Rooftops is a setting of a Goethe poem of comfort, “Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh”. In this, the lower voices begin each line with varying statements of a unison melody, which is answered each time by the full choir.

In No. 4, Serenade, the entreaties in the top part are echoed in the others. The approach is of cordial charm, rather than drama. Sadly, it seems that there is no response.

No. 5, Student Song from Goethe’s “Faust” is a lusty chorus. Its three verses each contain a blustery soli passage for the lower voices that is exaggerated in its repetitions.

Four Russian Peasant Songs by Igor Stravinsky, arr. by David Fetter – unpublished
Arranged for trombone quartet or choir.

Frohe Hirten (Joyous Shepherds) by J. S. Bach, arr. by David Fetter – $20.00
A tenor aria from the Christmas Oratorio arranged by David Fetter for solo trombone, flute, keyboard and cello or contrabass.
Includes the original flute part with new keyboard accompaniment and a part for cello or contrabass to double the continuo bass line. Time 3:40. Published by Cherry Classics.

Gruss seiner Treuen by Richard Wagner, arr. by David Fetter – $6.00
Arranged for trombone quartet or choir. Time 2:00. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

A transcription for trombones of a Richard Wagner piece “for four-part men’s choir” which he wrote as a greeting “for the beloved Friedrich August on his return from England, August 9, 1844.” This was while Wagner was Kapellmeister of the Dresden Court Theater under the reign of Friedrich August II, King of Saxony.

Hallelujah Chorus from The Messiah by G. F. Handel, arr. by David Fetter – $14.00
Arranged for five-part trombone choir. Performed in 2010 by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir in Marriottsville, Maryland, and by Bone Therapy in Nashville, Tennessee. Time 3:15. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Horn Heaven or the Booze Arts Trio by David Fetter – unpublished
For violin, french horn, and piano. Time 7:35, Encore 0:35.

This piece derives from David Fetter’s years as trombonist in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. It was written in the early 1980s in response to the french horn section’s tradition of deftly inserting ragtime snippets into whatever the orchestra was playing. This usually occurred in rehearsals, but not always. It occurred especially in pops and lighter music. This sharing of in jokes was largely concealed by the fact that the horn section’s instruments pointed away from the conductor. The trombonist had no such luxury.

Horn Heaven joins in the fun, but it also turns the tables on the horn section to some extent by interpolating their funny quotes into some of their most famous repertoire.

Horn Heaven was first performed in an April Fools concert at the Peabody Conservatory in 1986, with the composer as deranged page turner. The composer appreciates the cooperation of violinists and pianists, should this exceed their patience.

Impossible Joke by David Fetter – $4.00
For three trombones, two scores included. Time 4:00. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

A spoof of the violin cadenzas in Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. It has been heard at International Trombone Association meetings, in April Fool shows, and at a board meeting of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Listen to Impossible Joke – Right-Click to Download

Watch Impossible Joke on YouTube as performed in 2010 at Peabody by Edward Lonsinger, Graham Middleton, and Hakeem Bilal.

Insomnia at Pops by David Fetter – $8.00
For unaccompanied Bass Trombone, for Doug Yeo. Insomnia at Pops is Part II of Split Personality. PDF of Insomnia at Pops – Movements I and II – Right-Click to Download

Hear Insomnia at Pops performed by Doug Yeo, former Bass Trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra:

Insomnia at Pops – Movement I – Right-Click to Download

Insomnia at Pops – Movement II – Right-Click to Download

Japanese Dance by David Fetter – $8.00
For four trombones. From meditation to clashing metal. Time 2:25. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Land-Sighting by Edvard Grieg, arr. by David Fetter – unpublished
Originally for men’s chorus and orchestra, arranged by David Fetter for four-part trombone choir and organ. Hear the premiere performance by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir conducted by David Fetter with organist Eun Hea Kwon in April of 2010. Time 6:00.

Lassus Trombone by Henry Fillmore, arr. by David Fetter – $22.00
Arranged for eight-part trombone ensemble by David Fetter. This is in restrained, elegant early ragtime style, still with lots of glissando. The top two parts are supplied in both tenor and bass clef. The top four parts have high B-flats. Time 2:25. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Hear this arrangement of Lassus Trombone played by the Trombody Peabones at the Peabody Conservatory in May 2015:



Lectures pour Trombone, transcribed by Joannès Rochut, edited by David Fetter – $7.00
25 lyrical etudes from the solfège studies of Lucien Grandjany (1862-1891) transcribed by Rochut while he was a student at the Paris Conservatoire. Challenging reading in tenor and bass clefs. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Lyric No. 2 by David Fetter – unpublished
For trombone trio is short, peaceful with some solo meditation for the second trombone. It was premiered by Fetter students Dominique Patterson, Fred Peacos, and George Wiese at the Peabody Conservatory in spring 2006. Time 4:20.

Lyric No. 3 by David Fetter – unpublished
For horn and trombone duo. A version for alto trombone and euphonium was made for Chris Dudley. Time 9:30 .

Cantabile, naively sunny
Andante, some doubtful searching and close harmony
Steady and relaxed, consistently positive faux-African pop
Slowly, begins with a smoldering disagreement between the instruments. After a flare-up and a thaw, there is a warm exchange. A happy ending seems likely, but there is a sardonic undertow in the closing ragtime march.

Morceau Symphonique by Alexandre Guilmant, arr. by David Fetter – $95.00
Arranged for trombone and orchestra (strings, double winds, 2 horns, 2 trpts., harp and timpani). Performed by David Fetter with the Baltimore Symphony in the 1970’s. Score & Parts, Time 6:25. Available from TAP Music Sales and Hickey’s Music Center.

“My Sharona” by Doug Feiger & B. Averre, arr. by David Fetter – $30.00
Arranged for eight trombones, electric bass, and drums. A rather literal transcription of the original recording of the song by The Knack. This is the tune that Will Farrell danced to as he impersonated Attorney General Janet Reno on Saturday Night Live. Time 4:00. Available from TAP Music Sales.

NGE Trio by David Fetter – unpublished
NGE Trio was written for a trombone trio coached by Fetter at the Peabody Conservatory. The members were Nate Siler, Greg Campbell, and Ethan Van Winkle. The work is in three short abstract movements. The first is a modal fanfare and the second is an off-tonal meditation. The third is also serious, but lively with diatonic dissonance. Total time 3:00.

National Anthem of the U.S., arr. by David Fetter – $16.00
Arranged for brass section for a presidential installation at the Johns Hopkins University. Scored in A major for 3 trumpets, 4 horns, 3 trombones and tuba. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Orasion Funèbre (Recitative and Prayer) by Hector Berlioz, arr. by David Fetter – $8.00
Arranged for trombone and piano in the original key. Orasion Funèbre (Funeral Oration) is the second movement of the symphony for band by Hector Berlioz, the Symphonie Funèbre et Triomphale. Time 5:50. Available from TAP Music Sales and Hickey’s Music Center. At TAP Music Sales it is listed under Fetter.

Pilgrims’ Chorus from Tannhäuser by Richard Wagner, arr. by David Fetter – $6.00
Arranged for trombone quartet or choir. In Act III of Wagner’s opera Tannhäuser a chorus of pilgrims enters on foot from a distance as they return from serving penitence in Rome. As they approach they sing, without accompaniment, a four-part setting in E-flat of the heroic melody played by the trombones in E major in the opera’s Overture. As the chorus reaches center stage, it repeats the melody in unison, with great power. This arrangement employs the original vocal parts with an added cadence. Time 3:00. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Fetter has also made a version for organ. Hear a performance of the version with organ by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir conducted by David Fetter with organist Eun Hea Kwon in April of 2010.

Polonaise by David Fetter – unpublished
Composed for Trio Hidas, Polonaise is a set of variations for three trombones on a brief faux-Polonaise theme. After several contrasting mutations employing vintage pop harmony and some virtuosic gestures, a Klezmer scale is adopted giving the conclusion an East-European flavor. Polonaise was given its world premier by Trio Hidas at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in March, 2007. Time 4:20.

Profile for Unaccompanied Bass Trombone by David Fetter – $4.00
Profile is Part I of Split Personality. Composed for Doug Yeo, it is in three movements. (Part II of Split Personality is Insomnia at Pops.) The Third movement of Profile was required repertoire in a competition at the 2013 EAstern Trombone Workshop. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Lyric, a subtly intense lyrical episode Time 3:37
Blues March, strut and praise 4:02
Comforting, a simple 12/8 melody frames a testimonial middle section 3:35 1

Hear Profile performed by Doug Yeo, Bass Trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, on his CD Take 1, available from Hickey’s Music Center and TAP Music Sales.

Psalm 1 by Heinrich Schütz, arr. by David Fetter – $20.00
Psalm 1 was originally composed for two choruses SATB and TTBB. Here it is arranged for four-part trombone choir and organ by David Fetter. Hear a performance from April 2010 by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir conducted by the arranger with organist Eun Hea Kwon. Time 5:35.

This arrangement is published by Cherry Classics with alternate parts for brass quintet in place of organ. Also available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Quartet for four trombones by David Fetter – $10.00
A one-movement set of variations in G minor. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Que Belles Amours by Josquin des Prez, arr. by David Fetter – $8.00
Arranged for four trombones. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Radetzky March, Op. 228, by Johann Strauss, Sr., arr. by David Fetter – score and parts $17.00
Arranged for 6-part trombone ensemble. Heard often at New Year’s in Vienna. A march by the prolific father of Johann Strauss, Jr. This arrangement was first performed by the Ellicott City Trombone Choir in 2010. Hear a recording of that performance. Time 5:40. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

by David Fetter  – score and parts $20.00 – New Edition – new clear print.
  Scored for ten trombones, electric bass and drums, with a new written out solo – an optional replacement for improvisation in the 3rd Trombone part.

Based on funky rock & roll accompaniment clichés from the 1970s.  Performed at early meetings of the ITA Trombone Workshop and the Eastern Trombone Workshop.  Trombone parts 1 and 2 are in tenor clef.   Time 4:40.  Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Rockola has been recorded by Erkki T. Hirsimäki, Principal Trombone of the Oulu Symphony Orchestra in Finland on his CD Trombone(s).

Hear Rockola on YouTube recorded with thrilling precision by the Lucerne Bone Connection:

Schubert Scenes  Three Schubert songs arranged for trombone and piano by David Fetter with separate versions for tenor or bass trombone

Free download.  Perform the songs as a suite.  Time 7:30

The songs are:

  1. I Saw Myself (Der Doppelgänger) the apparition   –The poet sees himself standing in anguish before a house where his former lover lived.
  2. Serenade (Ständchen)  –One of Schubert’s most familiar melodies.  My songs float lightly through the night to you.
  3. On Horseback (Auf der Bruck)  –The rider exults in his travel and happily anticipates returning home.  The horse’s gait is heard in the demanding piano accompaniment

The songs texts are paraphrased in English in the trombone solo parts in Songs 1 and 2.  A translation of the text of Song 3 can be found on the LiederNet Archive at

Click here to download the solo part for Schubert Scenes for tenor trombone

Piano parts for tenor

Schubert Song 1, tenor piano part page 1

Schubert Song 1, tenor piano part page 2

Schubert Song 2, tenor piano part

Schubert Song 3, tenor piano part

Click here to download the solo part for Schubert Scenes for bass trombone

Piano parts for bass

Schubert Song 1, bass piano part

Schubert Song 2, bass piano part

Schubert Song 3, bass piano part

Seen from Afar by David Fetter – unpublished
Seen from Afar for trumpet, trombone and piano is an atmospheric slow movement composed at the request of Taiwanese trombonist Huai-En Ryan Tsai and premiered by him with fellow students Tao Ge and Young-Jin Kim at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in April, 2007. The work is both aggressive and tender with free and measured passages. It is based on a five-note scale which invokes nostalgia for the Far East in Westerners who have never been there. Each instrument has its own theatrical soliloquy. Time 6:30.

Situation Update by David Fetter – $20.00
Situation Update, suite for tenor trombone and piano in three movements. Time 10:30.

A band arrangement of the piano accompaniment is in preparation.

Published by Cherry Classics.

Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

I. Swift – The Devil’s Swagger – The Devil celebrates the human fouling of planet earth. He would lend a hand, but we’re doing fine on our own.   He can only gloat and strut in agitated envy.   At one point he pauses to sing a triumphal hymn.

II. Longing – The human turns inward in reflective and at times passionate meditation.  The human finds great comfort and sustenance in its belief that it is the center of the universe.

III. Exit Music – The Devil exults as the humans march off the edge.  A poignant art song fills a lull, but it is trampled by more humans.

Six Etudes and Two Mad Scenes by David Fetter – $6.00
Available for unaccompanied tenor trombone or for unaccompanied bass trombone.  Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Cavatina, a little aria
Reggae, be your own band – ya ya ya
I’m Not Angry, but I am conflicted
Casual, light jazz mood, convertible to 1940’s Swing style
Flowing, more serious lyricism
Latin, characteristic Latin big band licks
Mad Scenes No. 1 & No. 2, unhinged tests of endurance and intense, serious emotional expression. Some parody and humor.

View the cover for tenor trombone
View the cover for bass trombone

See a greatly enhanced performance of Latin on YouTube by Jim Miller of the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Six Sonatas for Five Brass  by Daniel Speer, edited by David Fetter – score and parts $22.00

A new edition of Speer’s six one-movement sonatas  adapted for 2 trumpets in B-flat and 3 trombones, all in bass clef, with an alternate horn part for Trombone 1.  The two top parts originally called for two zinks or two clarinos.  Sonata No. 5 is the original version of Bänkelsängerlieder, made popular by Robert King’s publication of it.  (He transposed it down a major second.)

Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Something to Play by David Fetter – $7.00
For bass trombone alone. Composed in the summer of 2004 for the English bass trombonist Jonathan Warburton, a soloist, composer, and big band member, who said, “Give me something to play!”

Donn Schaefer wrote in the International Trombone Association Journal (Vol. 43:4)  “As with Fetter’s other offerings, this work is more than deserving of a place on the music stand of every serious bass trombonist.”

Of the work’s three movements, the first is lyrical, by turns active and serene. The second, rather like Glen Miller in Hungary, is pre-Iraq advice offered too late to UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. (Tories may make up their own title, such as Imperial Strut.) The third movement interrupts flowing sections with a noisy off-key march, which becomes dominant at the close. Time 10:00.

Available from TAP Music Sales and Hickey’s Music Center.

Song Without Words, Op. 53, No. 2 by Robert Schumann, arr. by David Fetter – unpublished
An arrangement for trombone and piano of a piano work with a soaring melodic line. The work has been frequently arranged for other solo instruments. Time 2:30.

Sonata No. 3 by Benedetto Marcello, annotated by David Fetter – $8.00
The well-known A minor cello sonata in a new version annotated by David Fetter and transposed down to a more comfortable key, F-Sharp minor. The accompaniment is a new realization by Fetter of the figured bass.

Songs of a Wayfarer by Gustav Mahler, annotated by David Fetter – Free
The solo part only, annotated by David Fetter for tenor trombone.

Like others, Fetter has his own opinion of how the Mahler Songs of a Wayfarer should be played on the trombone. For your free copy of his trombone version of the voice solo part, please see  Songs of a Wayfarer . If you find that the many dots and dashes under slurs make matters worse for you, please remove them as you wish. The overall intent is to sustain the traditional unwritten legato of the sung text, while including some of the inflection of individual words. While markings are added, none of the original markings are omitted. The German tempo markings are given in English.

Thomas Weekles Happy and Sad, by David Fetter – $10.00
Three madrigals by Thomas Weekles, arranged for brass quintet. Time 5:40.

1. We Shepherds Sing
2. O Care, thou wilt despatch me
3. Sing We at Pleasure

Three Renaissance Transcriptions, arr. by David Fetter – $5.00
Arranged for four trombones. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Palestrina: Alla riva del Tebro
Lasso: Bon jour, mon coeur
Josquin: El Grillo

Three Songs to Music, arr. by David Fetter – $8.00
Three art songs arranged for trombone and piano. The accompaniment in the Schubert is the original piano music. The Purcell songs have new realizations of the harmony over the given bass line. The trombone part is embellished in the second and final verse of the third song. Total time 6:45. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Franz Schubert: An die Musik
Henry Purcell: Music For A While
Henry Purcell: If Music Be The Food of Love

Trahe me post te by Jacob Handl, arr. by David Fetter – $7.00
Arranged for five trombones.  Available from TAP Music Sales.

Trombone Opera by David Fetter – $25.00
Trombone Opera for three trombones was first performed by Nathan Siler, James Olin, and Alan Carr in 2006 at the Garrett-Jacobs Mansion in Baltimore. It was also performed by Trio Hidas, with Nitzan Haroz, Haim Avitsur and Dave Taylor, at the Summer Trombone Workshop in Syracuse, New York, in 2006. Trombone Opera gives the trombones – normally out of sight and often idle in the opera pit – all the star tunes. In this short pretend opera act there is introduction, recitative, rumination, dread, fleeting triumph, and a tragic conclusion. Time 7:00. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Listen to Trombone Opera

Hear to the composer discuss Trombone Opera

Valdres March by Johannes Hanssen, arr. by David Fetter – $19.00
Arranged for 8-part trombone choir by David Fetter. Time 4:00

Made popular by recordings in the mid-20th Century by Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra and Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. Hear a performance by His Majesty’s Royal Guards Band of probably the original version on YouTube. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

According to, Johannes Hanssen (1874-1967) was a preeminent bandmaster, composer, and teacher in Norway in the early 20th Century who led the Oslo Military Band.

Variations on Palestrina’s “Dona Nobis Pacem” by David Fetter – $2.50/$6.00
For unaccompanied trombone. Specify tenor trombone ($2.50) or bass trombone ($6.00). The bass trombone edition includes a transposition of the work into C major. This work has been the required solo at international trombone competitions. Time 4:38. Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

Hear the Variations performed by Ben van Dijk, Bass Trombone of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on YouTube.

Hear the Variations on the Doug Yeo CD Proclamation on the Doyen label.  Yeo was longtime Bass Trombone in the Boston Symphony Orchestra and taught at Arizona State University.  The CD is available from Hickey’s Music Center and TAP Music Sales.

Alert! – There is a Missing Measure in one printing of only the Bass Trombone Version of Variations on Palestrina’s “Dona Nobis Pacem”See this Corrections Page.  All corrected new copies are marked “Revision of April 2012”.

Choral Works by David Fetter

Dedicated to the Chums chorus of Baltimore

All SATB a capella

All Thanks to Blind Good Fortune
The existential song of the science skeptic and the climate change denier  Time 3:15  Also adapted for voice and piano.

Blow Me Away
A cautionary Second Amendment Ode   Time 3:00
Also adapted for voice and piano

It Is a Mystery to Be    Time 1:30
It is a puzzlement to sense
It is a privilege to live
It is a luxury to love

Let Us Be Here Tomorrow    Time 2:00
An anthem for comfortable survival

Sing Simple Truth    Time 1:40
An anthem to clear thought, truth and fellowship

Sweet Beauty   Time 3:25
Sweet Beauty, how will you survive us?  When Earth unplugs and data dumps and all our bytes are blown among the galaxies, how will you abide?

Other Works by David Fetter

Spirituals for unaccompanied cello by David Fetter – $8.00
Four movements: Deep River, I Am Troubled in My Mind, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Ride On King Jesus!

Spirituals for unaccompanied cello, was composed in 1995-96. The first movement, Deep River, is primarily the traditional song. It was arranged as a companion to a movement of a Bach cello Suite when the two were played by Troy Stuart as the musical segment of a ceremony to acknowledge the families and friends of persons who had lost their lives due to crime in Baltimore City. The remaining three movements, with more extensive variation material, were added later. They are I Am Troubled in My Mind, Swing Low Sweet Chariot, and Ride on King Jesus. The first complete performance was by Erica Wise at a Baltimore Composers Forum concert in 1997.

Download Spirituals sheet music (.pdf files):
Spirituals – Movement 1: Right-Click to Download
Spirituals – Movement 2: Right-Click to Download
Spirituals – Movement 3: Right-Click to Download
Spirituals – Movement 4: Right-Click to Download

References for unaccompanied viola by David Fetter – $8.00
Three movements for unaccompanied viola (also available for cello). Available from Hickey’s Music Center.

I – tonal variations with a middle section based on a Schubert song accompaniment figure. Time 5:09
II – Lyric romanticism, a minuet in minor with a singing second section. Time 3:03
III – A diatonic toccata with a dance-like middle section. Time 3:34

Hear References for Viola:
References – Movement I – Right-Click to Download

References – Movement II – Right-Click to Download

References – Movement III – Right-Click to Download

Fantasia for unaccompanied bassoon by David Fetter
Commissioned and premiered by Linda Harwell. Performed by Bryan Young at the 1998 International Double Reed Conference. Fantasia draws on symphonic and popular styles. The work’s three movements include some optional theatrical business. Available from TAP Music Sales.

Quick: Andante espressivo, lyric angst and reflection with some technical flights. Time 5:27
With Expression, dance-like music, by turns wistful, floating, and boisterous. Time 2:08
Pennsyltucky Polka, classical Russian barn dance with slapdash close. Time 3:02

Hear Fantasia:
Fantasia – Movement 1 – Right-Click to Download

Fantasia – Movement 2 – Right-Click to Download

Fantasia – Movement 3 – Right-Click to Download

Works in Manuscript

Musings for unaccompanied violin by David Fetter
Musings was composed for Jo Nardolillo, who premiered three of its movements at the Eastman School of Music on a doctoral recital in late 2006. These diverse character pieces are at times serious, warm, lyrical, melancholy, angry, frustrated, and satiric. Most look back at earlier styles. Total time 15:45.

Listen to Musings:
Musings for unaccompanied violin – Prelude – Right-Click to Download

Musings for unaccompanied violin – Ländler (Country Waltz) – Right-Click to Download

Musings for unaccompanied violin – Student Loan Payback or Bigfoot Polka (Spittato) – Right-Click to Download

Musings for unaccompanied violin – La Fa La – Right-Click to Download

Musings for unaccompanied violin – An There Is No Peace – Right-Click to Download

Musings for unaccompanied violin – Tango Paprikasch – Right-Click to Download

Amos Fayette, violin
Zach Herchen, Audio Engineer

Suite for Young Strings by David Fetter
Commissioned by John Fetter and the Hochstein School Sinfonia, the Suite for Young Strings for intermediate string orchestra is in three movements. Its first movement was premiered at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance in Rochester, New York, in spring 2006 and the work’s first complete performance was there the following fall. A short while later, the complete work was performed in Baltimore at the Peabody Preparatory by Daniel Levitov and the Preparatory Young Artists Orchestra.

Responsory, which pairs plaintive lyric phrases with comforting soft repetitions, until the movement closes with an extended outpouring. 2:10
Vocalise Waltz, where, after a short introductory gesture, a soaring melody is shared by various pairings of violin, viola, and cello sections. 2:45
Snappy Dance, a response to John Fetter’s observation that the catchy dotted-eighth sixteenth rhythm is often a source of frustration in young players. Thus, the music attempts to make proper performance unavoidable by preceding it with strong statements of its elements. Snappy Dance was performed May 10, 2008, in Shanghai, China by the Shanghai Youth Symphony Orchestra and its music director, Sam Matthews. Time 6:30

Snappy Dance on YouTube performed by members of the Shanghai Youth Orchestra in Shanghai, China, conducted by Music Director Sam Matthews:

Hear Suite for Young Strings as performed by conductor Daniel Levitov and the Peabody Preparatory Young Artists Orchestra

Suite for Young Strings – Responsory – Right-Click to Download

Suite for Young Strings – Vocalise Waltz – Right-Click to Download

Suite for Young Strings – Snappy Dance – Right-Click to Download

Grand Reopening Fanfare for woodwind quintet by David Fetter
Composed for Vento Chiaro, a woodwind quintet which premiered the work in April 2004 during the Peabody Institute Festival for the World, which celebrated the conclusion of major construction and renovation at the school. The noise of construction is heard in the music before flourishes to celebrate the completion of the project.

Grand Reopening Fanfare – Right-Click to Download