ISU music professor Patrick Brooks revives rare jazz composition, to present internationally

POCATELLO – A rare composition by jazz legend Charles Mingus has again reached audiences’ ears thanks to Idaho State University Department of Music Professor Patrick Brooks.

“Adagio ma non troppo” made its reappearance at an Idaho State University Wind Ensemble concert in April. The concert marked the first live performance of the composition since its recording in 1971.

Brooks, ISU director of bands, transcribed the 1971 recording during his sabbatical leave from ISU in fall 2016. The process involved an initial piano sketch, repeated listenings of the recording and a part-by-part transcription.

“It’s just really additional confirmation that this is an incredible department we have at ISU, and that our faculty members are recognized on a national and international level for doing important work in music,” Brooks said of the adaptation.

Brooks has been invited to present his research on “Adagio ma non troppo” at The International Society for Promoting and Researching Wind Music Conference in Germany this July. The conference invites international scholars of historical and contemporary wind music to share their work.

In March, Brooks presented a session on the composition at the College Band Directors National Association Western/Northwestern Division Conference at Sonoma State University.

With his transcription, Brooks aimed to make the Mingus piece available for performance by other college and professional band directors.

“I believe this is music that will be of interest to a wide swath of musicians, both classical and jazz,” he said. “Mingus is very well known in Europe and around the world, and Adagio ma non troppo I believe will appeal those conductors and musicians looking to broaden the musical influences they bring to their audiences.”

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