Voyageur Suite

For Brass Quintet

Duration: ca. 9'30"

"This is a tonal work with nice writing for brass, fun to play and a work that general audiences would enjoy. ... an excellent work with parts of equal interest to all performers."
Journal of the Int'l Brass Chamber Music Festival

Llevant Chamber Brass: Quand J'étais Chez Mon Père 1. Quand J'étais Chez Mon Père

The Carolina Brass Quintet: Le Retour du Mari Soldat 2. Le Retour du Mari Soldat

Seattle Quintet: La Bergere Muette 3. La Bergère Muette

Performance History · Purchase Sheet Music

Winner of the 2012 Burke & Bagley Prize

The Carolina Brass Quintet

2. Le Retour du Mari Soldat

Honorable Mention in the
2012 Burke & Bagley Prize Competition

Llevant Chamber Brass

1. Quand J'étais Chez Mon Père

Score Video

3. La Bergère Muette

The voyageurs were French-Canadian men who guided and paddled the canoes of explorers and fur traders from Quebec and Montreal to the regions bordering the Great Lakes and on to the Mackenzie and Columbia Rivers during the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries. While they paddled hour after hour in their cramped canoes, the voyageurs sang of their canoes, their country, their life and their loves. This suite is based on melodies from three of their songs:

  1. Quand J'étais Chez Mon Père
  2. Le Retour du Mari Soldat
  3. La Bergère Muette

At least two of my ancestors, both named Antoine Pepin, were voyageurs. This suite is dedicated to my nephew, Alexander Pepin Gilbert, on the occasion of his Bar Mitzvah.

Voyageur Suite was commissioned by Dr. Gary Powell Nash of Fisk University. The Alaska Brass of the United States Air Force Band of the Pacific presented the world premiere at a concert sponsored by the Canadian Consulate at the Loussac Library's Wilda Maston Theater in Anchorage, Alaska, on February 15, 2007.

The Carolina Brass Quintet's video of Le Retour du Mari Soldat won the 2012 Burke & Bagley Prize, and the Llevant Chamber Brass video of Quand J'étais Chez Mon Père was awarded Honorable Mention. The Seattle Quintet performance was recorded on Friday, February 8, 2008, at the Pleasure for the Ear concert by Brian Chin & Matt Swihart, trumpets, Becky Miller, horn, Kevin Raichart, trombone, and Kevin Pih, tuba.

Purchase Sheet Music

Sheet music for the Voyageur Suite is available from Art of Sound Music.

Performance History

Premiered February 15, 2007, by the Alaska Brass, Anchorage, Alaska

March 7, 2007, by the Black Mountain Brass, Canberra, Austrailia

April 21, 2007, by the Menlo Brass, Campbell, California

April 22, 2007, by the Menlo Brass, Menlo Park, California

February 8, 2008, by Brian Chin, Matt Swihart, Becky Miller, Kevin Raichart and Kevin Pih, Seattle

April 18, 2008, by the Raven Brass, Huntsville, Texas

May 4, 2009, (Parts 1 & 2) by the William & Mary Brass Quintet, Williamsburg, Virginia

July 31, 2011, by the NY Metropolitan Brass Quintet, New York, New York

July 13, 2013, (Part 1) by the Bespoke Brass Ensemble at the Cutting Edge Brass concert, Colchester, U.K.

January 30, 2015, by the NY Metropolitan Brass Quintet, Bohemian National Hall, New York, New York