Kilimanjaro was composed in 1991 on a commission from Gary Bird. He asked me to compose a piece featuring the low brass faculty at Indiana University, Bloomington, IN with him as soloist. The premiere performance was scheduled for his final recital to complete his Doctor of Music degree in 1992. We agreed on an instrumentation of three trombones, euphonium and two tubas with solo sections slated for Gary and IU faculty members Harvey Phillips, M. Dee Stuart, Keith Brown and Ed Anderson. Gary was able to invite his friend, Brian Bowman, to play euphonium. Jack Stamp also conducted the premiere performance, which was held at Indiana University on September 29, 1991. The inspiration for writing the piece was from my safari trip to Kenya in 1988. Mt. Kilimanjaro is the highest peak in Africa and often considered the most dramatic in the world because of its sudden rise from the base to the top, over 19,000 feet. The view of seeing wild animals on the plains with Kilimanjaro in the background is breathtaking.
29-Sep-91 by Indiana University Low Brass Faculty