program notes by composition > B > The Blue Bells of Scotland

Blue Bells of Scotland, The

Arthur Pryor/arr. by Barney Childs Gene Pokorny, tuba soloist, Chicago Symphony Orchestra ( November 11, 2012 )

The Blue Bells of Scotland , referencing the wildflower, is a traditional folk song written in 1801. It was later arranged with theme and variations by Arthur Pryor, the Sousa Band’s virtuoso trombonist. Today’s adaptation for tuba was prepared for Mr. Pokorny by Dr. Barney Childs (1926-2000) of the University of Redlands (California). Dr. Childs was a professor of music, Rhodes Scholar and professor of poetry, for whose grand influence Mr. Pokorny is thankful. This tour de force by our world-class tubist can be described as a turn-of-the-century, theme-and-variations, Sunday-afternoon-concert-in-the-park solo. The Theme features cantabile sound and style with lots of rubati and espressivo . The Variations progress with increasing complexity from triplets to sixteenths, in the entire range of the tuba, and beyond.

Last updated on March 6, 2020 by Palatine Concert Band