Brett L. Wery
Composer, Conductor, Clarinetist, Saxophonist

Brett L. Wery is an active composer/arranger in the Capital Region area of upstate New York. He is a professor at Schenectady County Community College in Schenectady, NY where he teaches theory, conducting, and applied woodwind studies. Mr. Wery conducts the Schenectady County Community College Wind Ensemble and is the Music Director/Conductor of the Capital Region Wind Ensemble. As a professor at Schenectady County Community College Mr. Wery has been the recipient of the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities as well as the SCCC Foundation Award for Excellence in Teaching. Mr. Wery’s, Three Conversations with Coffee, was recently selected for inclusion in the International Trumpet Guild’s New Works Recital at the 2014 ITG Conference in Valley Forge PA.

As a clarinetist and saxophonist Mr. Wery performs and records with the Empire Jazz Orchestra, Albany Symphony, and the Dogs of Desire. He and pianist, Mark Evans, present regular chamber music concerts as part of the SCCC Chamber Music Series. Mr. Wery received his bachelor’s degree at the North Carolina School of the Arts and his Master’s Degree at the University of Denver.


Email Brett L. Wery

Links
Schenectady County Community College, School of Music

Capital Region Wind Ensemble

The Empire Jazz Orchestra

Watch a performance of Three Conversations with Coffee by Karen Hosmer, Peter Bellino and the Binnekill Chamber Orchestra Three Conversations with Coffee

Watch a performance of Mungi Ibariki Afrika by Michele Von Haugg, Scott Horsington, and Clarinets for Conservation Mungi Ibariki Afrika

SELECTED WORKS

Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra

Oot-kwa-tah,for chamber orchestra
Three Canvases
Three Conversations with Coffee,
for solo Oboe, Trumpet and String Orchestra


Wind Ensemble and Band
Berceuse, for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble
Dance Suite for Wind Ensemble
Facets of Pele, a Rondo for Bass Trombone and Young Band
Grendel Suite for Band
Mortals Gods and Heroes
The Poor Soldier Suite for Band


Chamber Music
The Mpingo Parables,for solo clarinet
a tough and resilient town, for Flute Quartet
Four World Variants, for Clarinet Quartet
Letters from Cohoes, for Baritone, Flute, Harp and String Quartet
Latin Dance Suite for Saxophones, for Saxophone Quartet
Mungi Ibariki Afrika, for Young Clarinet Choir and Two Solo Clarinets
Piano Sonata in C
String Quartet
The Maenad's Daydream,
for Flute, Viola and Harp
The Passage of Orpheus, for English Horn, Violin, Viola, Cello
The Passage of Orpheus, for Saxophone Quartet
The Song of Cyrus Kleiner, the Nanotchnologist, for Baritone and String Quartet


Opera
The Poor Soldier, reconstruction of William Shield’s 1783 comic opera

Compositions

Letters from Cohoes


PDF score

excerpt from mvt. II May 1974, A Greyhound Bus (The Majik Bus to Cohoes)

INSTRUMENTATION
Baritone Voice
Flute, doubling Piccolo, Alto Flute, and Bass Flute
Harp
String Quartet

I. January 1947, Hollywood (Eva’s Curse)
II. May 1974, A Greyhound Bus (The Majik Bus to Cohoes)
III. June 1974, Cohoes (Wish List Fundraising)
IV. October 1974, Cohoes (Confrontation and Finale)

Commissioned by the Musicians of Ma'alwyck and dedicated to Ann-Marie, Fred and the Musicians of Ma'alwyck

Letters from Cohoes is loosely based on the life of Eva Tanguay (1879-1947) Tanguay billed herself as “the girl who made vaudeville famous.” She was known for her suggestive songs and extravagant costumes and has been likened to Madonna or Lady Gaga. Her one recording was “I Don’t Care” in 1922. Her parents moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts in the 1880’s and she began her career as a teenager at the Cohoes Music Hall. At the age of nineteen she made her debut in New York City. Tanguay was the highest paid woman of her day but was said to have lost more than two million dollars in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Tanguay had a reputation for outlandish behavior and was once Fined $50 in Louisville, Kentucky for throwing a stagehand down a flight of stairs. She died, blind and nearly destitute, at the age of 68 in Hollywood. In 1953 Mitzi Gaynor portrayed Eva Tanguay in a fictionalized version of her life in the motion picture, The I Don’t Care Girl.

Letters from Cohoes tells the fictionalized story of the reopening of Cohoes Music Hall in Cohoes, NY in 1974 and the ghost that is rumored to still haunt the hall.

The Musicians of Ma’alwyck premiered the piece in the Cohoes Music Hall on October 15, 2011.


Mortals, Gods and Heroes
A suite For Concert Band


PDF score

INSTRUMENTATION
Standard band with six percussion parts and optional string bass

I. Arachne’s Web
II. The Passage of Orpheus
III. Perseus and the Gorgon

Commissioned by Maple Avenue Middle School Band, Andrew Janack, conductor

Mortals, Gods and Heroes takes the form of three tone poems. The first movement depicts Arachne’s confrontation with Athena and Arachne’s subsequent transformation into a spider. The second movement depicts Orpheus’ travels through the underworld and the characters he meets along the way. The final movement depicts Perseus’ struggle with and defeat of Medusa, the Gorgon.

Mortals, Gods and Heroes is suitable for advanced middle school bands and high school bands.

The piece was premiered in Saratoga Springs, NY in May 2008 by the Maple Avenue Middle School Band, Andrew Janack, director.


Three Conversations With Coffee
a Sinfonietta For Oboe, Trumpet And Strings


PDF score

INSTRUMENTATION
Oboe/English Horn
Trumpet/Flugelhorn
Strings

I. Allegretto come una danza
II. Larghetto
III. Allegretto Amabile

Commissioned by Eugene Mirabelli and dedicated to Margaret Mirabelli.

Three Conversations With Coffee is designed to reflect the transformative nature of an ongoing, lifelong conversation. The work is in no way programmatic. The solo voices of the oboe and trumpet are not meant to represent individuals or depict any narrative. Instead, the interaction and counterpoint of the solo voices create subtle shifts in character and tenor. There is no strong voice or weak voice and certainly no winner or loser. The solo voices mature and stumble. They sometimes support the other and sometimes admonish. In the end, the themes develop and cross-pollinate to become richer and more meaningful than they ever could without the influence of the other. It should be noted that the last figure ends unfinished and in an upward sweep – an ongoing conversation.

The piece was premiered in the Schenectady, NY in October 2012. Karen Hosmer played oboe and English horn; Peter Bellino played trumpet and flugelhorn along with the Binnekill Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Brett L. Wery.


String Quartet


PDF score

INSTRUMENTATION
Violin I
Violin II
Viola
Cello

I. Allegro con brio
II. Andante Affetuoso
III. Presto

Sting Quartet is dedicated to the Hyperion String Quartet.

The Hyperion String Quartet premiered the piece in Schenectady in April, 2014.