Blue Lake Reflections

Ed Huckeby
Birch Island Music Press, 1988


Blue Lake Reflections (1988) is another piece that shows Ed Huckeby’s jazz background.  With only a slight change of instrumentation, this could easily be a jazz ballad.  The main characteristic of the melody is the two eighth note pick-ups leading to the dotted half note.  In each phrase, whichever instruments are not playing the melody perform chords in rhythmic unison.

In measures 13 and 37, the composer gives us a short breather from the main melody as a second 8 measure tune fills in.  Measure 29 features a key change up a step from Eb Major to F Major and a trumpet solo.

Performance Notes

Blue Lake Reflections (1988) is dedicated to C. Oscar Stover, director of Camp Emery of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in Twin Lakes, Michigan.

Musical Challenges

Other than the standard line about chorale style playing, it’s really hard to see any potential potholes in this piece.  The key change is a simple “church organ up-a-step” we hear so often at Sunday morning service.  The time signature never varies, or even pretends to waver.  Combining these factors with the very accessible range, the simplistic percussion settings, and the number of instruments in rhythmic unison makes one wonder why this is listed as a Grade 4 piece. There are several pieces on the Grade 2 list I’d hesitate to put in front of my students due to musical pitfalls, solo requirements, etc.  If I have a student capable of the trumpet solo at 29, there really are no other reservations to keep this piece from the program.  Even C. L. Barnhouse, the publisher, lists this as a Grade 2.

All the miscategorization talk aside, this composition truly does feature a beautiful melody.

About the Composer

Ed Huckeby is President of Southwestern Christian University, Oklahoma. Prior to his appointment at SCU, he was a Professor of Music and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at Northeastern State University-Broken Arrow (OK). He also served as an arts administrator for Tulsa Ballet Theatre, directing the general operations of Oklahoma's premier international ballet company. Huckeby holds the title of emeritus professor of music at Northwestern Oklahoma State University where he served for over two decades as Music Department Chairman and Dean of the Graduate School.

Prior to his appointment at Northwestern in 1976, Huckeby spent eight years teaching instrumental music in the public schools of Oklahoma. His success in the public schools led him into the college teaching ranks where he became internationally recognized as an outstanding music educator and composer of over 170 published works for band. Ed's ability to write interesting and accessible instrumental music can be attributed to his experience at a variety of levels.

Huckeby's performance background and experience is very eclectic, having been a member of a symphony orchestra (horn), a jazz band (trumpet), and a contemporary Christian quintet (bass guitar and vocals), as well as having served regularly as a church organist and pianist. His outstanding contributions to the concert and marching band literature have played an important role in the development of the contemporary band repertoire.

Ed holds a bachelor's degree in music education from East Central University, Oklahoma, a master’s degree in music education from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in administration from Oklahoma State University with additional study at the University of North Texas. He has written articles for The Instrumentalist, The American Music Teacher, and The Journal of the International Horn Society, and has held memberships in Music Educators National Conference, Oklahoma Music Educators Association, Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, ASCAP, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and Phi Beta Mu, where he served as a member of the national board of directors and state chapter president.  Huckeby was selected as an "Outstanding Young Man in America," is listed in the "International Who's Who in Music," and was inducted into the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association "Hall of Fame" in 1996. He has created over 50 commissioned works and regularly serves as a clinician, adjudicator and conductor for instrumental ensembles around the world.