Ed Huckeby
Birch Island Music Press, 1999


Equinox (1999) is written in ABA style with a three measure introduction and a brief coda.  The “A” section is marked by repeated energetic ostinato figures written in mixed meter (4/4, 6/8, 78) with a driving snare to keep the piece moving. At measure 48 the “B” section is marked “Slowly, with feeling” and is a much more connected, lyrical section with the melody in the trumpet and a moving eighth note counter-melody in the euphonium.  At measure 56 the alto saxophone and horn takes over the eighth note counter melody.  On the repeat of the “B" section, the upper woodwinds join in with a flowing eighth/sixteenth note descant line and the percussion section sets up a drumset feel that adds to the intensity of the lyrical passage.

Performance Notes

Equinox (1999) was commissioned by the band directors of the Texas Music Educators Association, Region II, North Zone, for the 1999 Junior High Symphonic All-District Band, Wichita Falls, Texas.

Musical Challenges

The ranges in this piece line-up well with expectations for a Grade 3 band.  The key of d minor is close enough to F Major that it shouldn’t be too difficult, but students should be reminded of the difference so that they can listen for a new tonality.  The heavy syncopation and off-set accents will keep a young band counting to keep from falling apart.  The mixed meter in the “A”section should keep the eighth note constant, and tends to flow well.  Students should realize that the accents are to provide energy, but should not be heavy and weigh down the piece.  At measure 28, the ride cymbal serves as the metronome, and should be played as if on a drumset.  Ride cymbal again becomes important at measure 44 where it helps the band through a large ritarando and into the “B” section.  Balance and intonation can both be significant issues in this chorale section.  Care should be taken that the trumpet melody and the euphonium counter-melody can both be heard well and without interference by the low brass and saxophone accompaniment.  At measure 63, the moving upper woodwind line should feel relaxed and carefree!

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.