Frederick Tillis

Arts Advocate in Amherst, MA

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Arts Advocate in Amherst, MA

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Classical Composer in Amherst, MA

Take a look at all of Frederick Tillis’ symphony compositions for concert band, small ensemble, jazz orchestra, and more. 
Symphony Concert Band Woodwind Brass
String Keyboard Vocal & Orchestra Vocal & Chorus
Jazz Orchestra Small Ensemble Jazz Vocal Music

Classical Compositions

Symphony Orchestra
Designs for Orchestra No. 1 and 2

1963
Duration: No. 1 about 7 minutes; No. 2 about 5.5 minutes.
Currently not available

Cotton Curtain, The

For student orchestra
1966
Duration: about 4.75 minutes.

Ring Shout Concerto for Percussionist and Orchestra

Written for and premiered by Max Roach with symphony.
1974
Duration: about 20 minutes.

Niger Symphony

For Chamber Orchestra
1975
Commissioned by Hartford Chamber Symphony Orchestra, Hartford, Connecticut
Duration: about 13 minutes.

Three Symphonic Spirituals

For Orchestra
1978
Commissioned by Columbia Records
----- Movements -----
1. We Shall Overcome
2. Deep River
3. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
Duration: about 11.6 minutes.

Concerto for Piano

(Jazz Trio) and Symphony Orchestra
1979 (and revised in 1982) - American Composers Alliance.
Commissioned by the Springfield Symphony Orchestra, for Billy Taylor Trio, Springfield, Massachusetts
3 Movements
Duration: about 20 minutes.

Concerto for Trio Pro Viva

For flute, violin, cello, piano and chamber orchestra.
1980
Commissioned by the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, D. Antoinette Handy/Trio Pro Viva, Richmond, Virginia
3 Movements
Duration: about 21.7 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 6

For Trumpet and Chamber Orchestra.
1982
Duration: about 9 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 15

- Two Pieces for Orchestra
1990
Commissioned by the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, Connecticut
----- Movements -----
1. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
2. Blues Fantasy on Chantex Les Bas by W. C. Handy
Duration: about 10.8 minutes.

Festival Journey, A

For solo jazz percussionist and symphony orchestra.
1992
Commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Black Arts International Festival, Atlanta, Georgia
Duration: about 48 minutes.

Poem for Orchestra No. 1 (Bach's Offerings & Sinner Please)

1996
Duration: 11 minutes.

Poem for Orchestra No. 2 (Meditations on Blake, Dunbar, and Tagore)

1996
Duration: 10.9 minutes.
Currently not available

Poem for Orchestra No. 3 (Shades of East and West)

1996
Duration: 10 minutes.
Currently not available

Poem for Orchestra No. 4 (passages)

1996
Duration: 10.5 minutes.
Currently not available

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Concert Band Compositions in Amherst, MAOverture to a Dance for Concert Band

1961
Duration: about 10.5 minutes.
Currently not available

Celebration

Grand March for Concert Band
1966.
Commissioned by Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia
Duration: about 5.5 minutes.

Pastorale for Wind Ensemble

1974
Duration: about 8 minutes.
Currently not available

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Woodwind Compositions in Amherst, MA

Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon and Cello

Master of Music Thesis/partial fulfillment
1952
Duration: about 8 minutes.
Currently not available

Concert Piece for Clarinet and Piano

1955, revised 1960
Duration: about 4.75 minutes.
Currently not available

Quintet for Four Woodwinds and Percussion

1962 - Southern Music Co.
Duration: about 14 minutes.
Currently not available

Music for Alto Flute, Cello and Piano

1966 - C.F.E. - Southern Music Co.
Commissioned by Music Proviva
Duration: about 3 minutes.

Music for an Experimental Lab, Ensemble No. 1

1967
Duration: about 2 minutes.
Currently not available

Music for an Experimental Lab, Ensemble No. 3

1970
Duration: about 7 minutes.
Currently not available

Music for Recorders (2 pieces)

1972
Duration: about 3 minutes.
Currently not available

Spiritual Fantasy No. 14 and Blue-Green Rag

For piano, flute, and oboe
1990
Commissioned by Geneva Southall, Director of Women of Class Trio
Duration: about 10.5 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 16

"Death's Cold Icy Hands On Me" for saxophone and piano
1991
Duration: about 6.5 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 17

For saxophone quartet - "Were You There?/Mary, Don't You Weep"
1994
Duration: about 13.4 minutes.

Five Fantasies on Primary Colors

Writen for the Avanti Woodwind Quintet
1999
----- Movements -----
1. Light Blue Prologue - Duration: 2.6 minutes
2. Shades of India - Duration: 3.3 minutes
3. Echoes of Africa - Duration: 3.1 minutes
4. Fantasy on To Ryab Se/Kogo No Tsuki - Duration: 3.8 minutes
5. Tinge of New World Rainbows - Duration: 5.4 minutes
Duration: Total Duration: 18.2 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 23. (Weary Traveler)

For Woodwind Quintet.
2001
----- Movements -----
1. Weary Traveler - duration: c. 6.2 minutes
2. A'la Old French Choral - duration: c. 3.5 minutes
3. Fantasia - duration: c. 9.1 minutes.
Duration: Total: around 20 minutes.

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Brass

Passacaglia for Brass Quintet

1950
Duration: about 4 minutes.

Militant Mood for Brass Sextet

1961
Duration: about 4.75 minutes.

Quintet for Brass

Duration: about 10 minutes.

Motions for Trombone and Piano

1964
Duration: about 10.5 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 1

Premier soloist, Fred Irby III
For Piccolo, Trumpet, and Piano
1980
Commissioned by Fred Irby III, Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Duration: about 9.6 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 5

Premiere soloist - Laura Klock
For Horn and Piano
1982
Duration: about 8.3 minutes.

Inauguration Overture

For brass quintet and timpani
1988
Commissioned by Spelman College, for the inauguration of Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Atlanta, Georgia
Duration: about 6 minutes.

Kabuki Scenes - Suite for Brass and Percussion

For brass quintet, timpani, Latin percussion and jazz drum set
1991
----- Movements -----
1. Song for Sister Hokkaido
2. Dance Fantasy on Toh Ryan Se
3. Thunderstorms and Drifts of Blue Mist
Duration: total about 18 minutes.

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String

Capriccio for Viola and Piano

1960
Duration: about 3.5 minutes.

String Trio

1961
Duration: about 4.75 minutes.

Fantasy for Viola and Piano

1962
Duration: about 11 minutes.

Sequences and Burlesque

Written for student ensemble
For string orchestra
1966
Duration: about 5.5 minutes.

Three Showpieces for Viola (2nd version for Violin)

Unaccompanied/also a 2nd version written for unaccompanied violin
1966 - C.F.E.
Duration: about 4.5 minutes.

Three Plus One

Music for Violin, Guitar, Clarinet, and Tape Recorder
1969
Duration: about 7.5 minutes.

Music for Violin, Cello, and Piano

1972
----- Movements -----
1. Somberly - Duration 2.5 minutes.
2. Legno Battuto - Duration 3.2 minutes.
3. Calmy - Duration 5.5. minutes.
Duration: about 11 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 2

Premiere soloist, Savatore Machia
For String Bass and Piano
1980
Duration: about 9.6 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 7

For Cello and Piano
1984
Duration: about 9 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 11

"Nobody Knows" for Double Quartet (String Quartet-Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone, Drum Set and String Bass)
1986
Duration: about 8.8 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 8

For Violin, Cello, and Piano
1987
Duration: about 10.5 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 12

(Suite for String Quartet)
1988
Duration: about 19.5 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 13

For Harp (or Piano)
1989
Duration: about 8.5 minutes.

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Keyboard

Three Chorale Settings, for Organ in Baroque Style

1962
Duration: about 4 minutes.

Passacaglia for Organ, in Baroque Style

Dedicated to Wendell Whalum
1962
Duration: about 3.5 minutes.

Three Movements for Piano

1964
Duration: about 9 minutes.

Five Poems for Piano

1970
Duration: about 17 minutes.
Currently not available

Spiritual Fantasy No. 4

For Piano
1981
Commissioned by Vivian Taylor (premiere perf.), Boston, Massachusetts
Duration: bout 10.3 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 3

Suite for Piano, Four-hands
1981
Commissioned by Mount Holyoke College, Allen Bonde & Bonde premiere performance, South Hadley, Massachusetts
Duration: about 12.6 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 22, (Paramana Suttu Battu Padara)

For Organ
2000
Duration: about 7.1 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 21, (If I Can Help Somebody)

For Organ
2000
Duration: about 5 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 20, (All is Well With My Soul)

For Organ
2000
Duration: about 4 minutes.

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Vocal Music

Vocal & Symphony

Five Spirituals for Chorus and Brass Choir

Text by Gwendolyn Brooks
1976
Commissioned by the University of Massachusetts Chorale, Richard duBois, music director, Amherst, Massachusetts
----- Movements -----
1. I'm Gonna Sing
2. The Urgency
3. Salve Savage in the Spin
4. All About are the Cold Places
5. The Time
Duration: about 20 minutes.


Spiritual Cycle for Soprano and Orchestra

Premier soloist - Florence Quivar
Text by Robert Hayden
1978
Commissioned by the Fine Arts Center/Springfield Orchestra, University of Massachusetts for the Leonard Berstein Festival of American Music, Amherst, Massachusetts
----- Movements -----
1. On Lookout Mountain
2. Loud Riot
3. And All the Atoms Cry Aloud
Duration: about 15 minutes.


In the Spirit and the Flesh

Paul L. Dunbar (life) Everytime I Feel the Spirit (trad. text)
For Orchestra and Mixed Chorus
1985
Commissioned by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta, Georgia
Duration: about 20 minutes.


Spiritual Fantasy No. 9

"Sympathy" poem by Paul Laurence Dunbar
For mixed chorus (S.A.T.B.) and Brass Quintet
1987
Commissioned by the University of Massachusetts Chorale, University of Massachusetts Chorale, Amherst, Massachusetts
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Three Moods for String Orchestra

With Children's Chorus (optional), dedicated to Betances School and Center for Youth, Hartford, Connecticut and I Giovani Solisti in West Hartford, Connecticut
1998
Commissioned by Commission was made possible with a Meet The Composer - New Music for Schools Grant.
----- Movements -----
1. Let Us Sing (Spiritual Fantasy No. 18)
2. It Is Well With My Soul (Spiritual fantasy No. 19)
3. Caprice.
Duration: Total Duration: about 15 minutes.


A Symphony of Songs

Poems by Wallace Stevens
For chorus and orchestra
1998
Commissioned by The Hartford Chorale, Henley Denmead, music director, Hartford, Connecticut
----- Movements -----
1. Domination of Black - Duration: around 10 minutes.
2. Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock - Duration: around 6.2 minutes.
3. Another Weeping Woman - Duration: around 6.1 minutes.
4. The Snow Man - Duration: around 8.5 minutes.
Duration: Total Duration: 30.8 minutes.

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Vocal And Chorus Compositions in Amherst, MA

Freedom

Memorial for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Text by Frederick C. Tillis
For Mixed Chorus (S.A.T.B) acappella
1968 - Southern Music Co.
Commissioned by Kentucky State University Choir, Frankfort, Kentucky
Duration: about 8.25 minutes.

Alleulia

For Mixed Chorus (S.A.T.B) with piano acc. for rehearsal
1969
Duration: about 7.5 minutes.

Three Songs from Shadows and Distance Nowhere

Text by Langston Hughes
For Voice and Piano
1971
Commissioned by Ralph Williams, New York.
----- Movements -----
1. Hope
2. Juliet
3. Drum.
Duration: about 8 minutes.

Ballad of Remembrance for Voice and Piano, A

Text by Robert Hayden
For medium high Voice and Piano
1972
Duration: about 8.25 minutes.

Seasons

Text by Floyd Barbour
For Women's Chorus
1972-73
Commissioned by Regis College, Weston, Massachusetts
----- Movements -----
1. Spring
2. Summer
3. Autumn
4. Winter.
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Reflections

Text by Frederick C. Tillis.
For medium voice and piano.
1973.
Duration: about 4 minutes.

Spiritual Fantasy No. 10

"We Wear the Mask" for mixed chorus and piano
1988
Duration: about 8.1 minutes.

Three Songs of Life and Nature

(work in progress) for voice and piano.
1991
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Beck and Call

One of 3 songs, from "In Celebration"
For soprano or tenor and piano
1993
Duration: about 4.8 minutes.

Singing for the Sake of My Soul

(from "In Celebration") for soprano or tenor and piano
1993
Duration: about 3.5 minutes.

Beyond Shades of Doubt

One of 3 songs, from "In Celebration"
For soprano or tenor and piano
1993
Duration: about 5.6 minutes.

Rain Forest, The

Text by Frederick C. Tillis
For soprano or tenor and piano
1993
Duration: about 6 minutes.

Best Times, The

Text by Frederick C. Tillis
For soprano or tenor and piano
1993
Duration: about 4.8 minutes.

Walking Wind

Text by Frederick C. Tillis
For soprano or tenor and piano
1993
Duration: about 3.8 minutes.

Blow Out the Candles of Your Cake

(poem written by Richard Wilbur)
For soprano, cello, and piano
1994
Commissioned by Arnold Black, Mohawk Trail Concerts
Duration: about 6.8 minutes.

Play on your Flute Little Mary

For soprano, tenor, and piano
1995
Duration: 3.5 minutes.

Let Us Break Bread Together

For mixed chorus (S.A.T.B.), acapella, setting of a traditional spiritual, dedicated to the Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society
1995
Duration: 4.4 minutes.
piano/S.A.T.B - set of 10 parts

Little David

For voice and piano
1995
Duration: 3.1 minutes.

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Jazz Compositions

Jazz Orchestra

One Dozen Rocks, Inc.

For Jazz Orchestra.
1971
Duration: about 5.25 minutes.

Metamorphosis on a "Scheme" by J. S. Bach

For Jazz Orchestra.
1972
Duration: about 5 minutes.

Blue Stone Differencia

For Jazz Orchestra.
1972.
Duration: about 5 minutes.

Seton Concerto for Trumpet

For Jazz Orchestra.v 1973.v Commissioned by Richard Williams, Trumpet soloist, New York, New York
Duration: about 9 minutes.

Blue Express, The

For Jazz Orchestra.
1973
Duration: about 5 minutes.

Navarac

For Jazz Orchestra.
1974
Duration: about 6 minutes.

Fantasy on a theme by Julian Adderley (A Little Taste)

For Jazz Orchestra.
1975
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Secrets of the African Baobob Tree

(variations for modern dance/ballet).
For Jazz Orchestra.
1976
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Concerto for Piano and Jazz Orchestra

For Jazz Orchestra.
1977
For Billy Taylor, University of Massachusetts Jazz Ensemble, Amherst, Massachusetts
Duration: about 19 minutes.

Kcor Variations

For Jazz Orchestra.
1977
Duration: about 9.5 minutes.

Saturn

For Jazz Orchestra.
1978
Duration: about 8 minutes.

Autumn Concerto for Trumpet

For Jazz Orchestra.
1979
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Goodbye Pork Pie Hat

Memorial on a Theme by Charles Mingus.
For jazz ensemble.
1979
Duration: 2.5 minutes.

Elegy for Jazz Orchestra

For guitar and tenor saxophone (feature).
1983
Commissioned by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, Fred Irby III, music director, Washington, D.C..
Duration: about 5.6 minutes.

Voices and Colors

For Jazz Orchestra or Chamber Group.
1989
Commissioned by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, Fred Irby, III, Music Director, Washington, D.C..
Duration: about 4 minutes.

Misti

For Jazz Orchestra, composer. Errol Garner/arranger. F.C.Tillis. For Jazz Orchestra.
1989
Duration: about 6 minutes.

Ai-Midori

(Blue-Green), for the inaugural concert of Dr. Franklyn G. Jenifer.
1991
Commissioned by Howard University Jazz Ensemble, Fred Irby III, Music Director, Washington, D.C..
Duration: 5.5 minutes.

Wintering, A

This composition is part of "Triptych", which also includes compositions written by Slide Hampton and Jimmy Heath.
For jazz ensemble (3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 3 saxophones, 3 rhythm).
1994
Commissioned by University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center, Slide Hampton, music director, Amherst, Massachusetts
Duration: about 9 minutes.

Fantasy on Sunday in Egypt's Land

Jazz Ensemble.
1997
Commissioned by the Howard University Jazz Ensemble, Fred Irby III, Music Director, Washington, D.C.
Duration: about 7.8 minutes.

For Victims and Survivors of September 11

For Jazz Orchestra and Narrator.
Poems by Frederick Tillis.
2002
Commissioned by The Howard Universtity Jazz Ensemble and Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Howard University, Washington, D.C..
- Movements -
Gotham City, about 5 minutes
An International Rage, about 8 minutes
Duration: about 13 minutes.

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Jazz Small Ensemble

In Memory Of

For Double Quartet and Trumpet, Tenor Saxophone, Drum Set, and String Bass.
1984.
Duration: about 6.7 minutes.
Currently not available.

Passacaglia, for Jazz Sextet

1984
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Latin Tinge, A Suite for Jazz Quintet

For jazz orchestra or chamber group.
1986
----- Movements -----
1. A Latin Tinge - Duration 6 minutes.
2. Tango Sophisticate - Duration 8 minutes.
3. Bluemex - Duration
4. Bolero - Duration 8 minutes.
5. Sombrero - Duration 5 minutes.
Duration: about 30 minutes.

Jazz Suite on themes from "Peter and the Wolf"

For chamber jazz ensemble.
1986, January.
Duration: about 16.5 minutes.

Fantasy on a "Scheme" by J. S. Bach

From J. S. Bach "Prelude in Eb minor, well-tempered Cl./BK I.
For jazz duo piano and soprano saxophone.
1987
Duration: about 6 minutes.

Jazz Suite from Carnival of the Animals

For chamber jazz ensemble.
1987
Duration: about 15 minutes.

Fantasy on "Toh Ryanse"

A traditional Japanese children's song.
For jazz quintet, jazz orchestra, or chamber group.
1988
Duration: about 8 minutes.

Images of the Blue Earth

Version 2, for soprano, saxophone, and jazz piano.
Original version for string quartet and soprano saxophone.
1990
Duration: about 9 minutes.

Fantasy on a Chopin Prelude

From Frederic Chopin/Prelude in C minor.
(for jazz soprano saxophone and piano, jazz duo).
1990
Duration: about 6.5 minutes.

Fantasy on a Volga Boat Song

Traditional Russian Folk Song.
(for soprano saxophone and piano, jazz duo).
1990
Duration: about 10 minutes.

Trilogy

(for alto saxophone and piano) (work in progress).
1991 - unfinished.
Duration: about 12.5 minutes.

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Jazz Vocal Music

Sombrero

Text by F. C. Tillis.
(S.A.T.B.).
piano/S.A.T.B - set of 10 parts.

Tribute to Duke Ellington

A suite for mixed chorus (S.A.T.B.) and jazz trio (bs. & dr. optional), to Horace Boyer and the University of Massachusetts Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Amherst, Massachusetts
1980
----- Movements -----
1. I Let A Song Go Out of My Heart
2. Mood Indigo
3. Take the A Train.
Piano/S.A.T.B - set of 10 parts.

Duration: about 4 minutes; 5.2 minutes; 3 minutes - total 12.2 minutes.

One for Ray

Blues/Jazz Idiom.
Text by Frederick C. Tillis.
For Mixed Chorus (S.A.T.B.), In Memory of Ray Copeland.
1984
Piano/S.A.T.B - set of 10 parts.
Duration: about 5 minutes.


Time Has Come, The

Text by Frederick C. Tillis.
For mixed chorus (S.A.T.B.) with jazz trio, piano with bass and drum optional.
1989 - P & P Publications
Piano/S.A.T.B - set of 10 parts.
Duration: about 5 minutes.

Latin Fringe, A for mixed chorus (S.A.T.B.)

Text by Frederick C. Tillis.
For mixed chorus (S.A.T.B.).
1994
Piano/S.A.T.B - set of 10 parts.
Duration: about 3.2 minutes.

Bolero

(for mixed chorus) (S.A.T.B.).
1995
Piano/S.A.T.B. - set of 10 parts.
Duration: 6 minutes.

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