David Heyes

Michael Montgomery: A Day in the Ozarks for Junior Double Bass Quartet

Michael Montgomery: A Day in the Ozarks for Junior Double Bass Quartet

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Table of Contents

I. A Forest Meadow (G major)

II. Cumulonimbus (A minor)

III. Eventide (D major)

IV. The Way Home (G major)

About the Composition

Intended for young bassists, this set of four quartets is written entirely in bass clef, using the orchestral register of the bass. The highest note played is G, one octave above the open G string, though this range is extended by the use of two harmonics, A and D, played in the 3rd position on the G and D strings and bass 4 plays only in 1st position.

A story is associated with the four movements – that of a small group of friends out on a jaunt into the Ozark Mountains.

I. Hiking up into the mountains, the group finds the forest suddenly opens onto a meadow, where several young deer frolic playfully, oblivious, or perhaps unaware, of the small troupe enjoying their antics from the cover of the nearby foliage.

II. As often happens in the mountains, the weather takes a turn for the worse – before too long the sky darkens and an ominous looking cloud seems set on coming their way, and with low rumbling signals his intent to dampen both body and spirit. However, a kind wind ushers this bringer of unpleasant things onward to some other destination, thus saving the day.

III. Often, when we visit places and people, time passes much too quickly, and so it was for our friends: the sun began to set much too soon, leaving in its wake a peaceful ambiance …

IV. Indeed, it was past time to find the way home, as the light of the sun could no longer offer assistance – an exciting ending to the day perhaps, but a fitting one nonetheless.

Dedicated to Maggie Estrada

About the Composer

Double bassist Michael Montgomery, a student of Robert Rohe (Principal Bass, New Orleans Symphony) and Lucas Drew (Principal Bass, Miami Philharmonic), earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in double bass performance from the University of Miami, played full-time in the bass section of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra for two decades.

He now lives in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas, where he teaches double bass at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville and privately in his home studio. Michael has composed numerous works for young double bassists (including over five dozen short bass quartets for young students) which are published by Recital Music and two American publishers.

His articles about bass performance, literature, and teaching have been published in American Suzuki Journal, Bass World, and Pastoral Music.

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