|Howard J. Buss|
January 6, 1951|
Howard J. Buss (born January 6, 1951 in Allentown, Pennsylvania) is an American composer of contemporary classical music. Buss' works include instrumental solos, chamber music, symphonic, choral, and band works. His music has received awards including the 2011 Lieksa (Finland) Brass Week Composition Competition, the 2015 American Trombone Workshop National Composition Competition, the National Flute Association's Newly-Published Music Competition, the Erik Satie Mostly Tonal Award, State of Florida Fellowships, and ASCAP Plus Awards.
Howard J. Buss was the eldest of eight children and was raised in Emmaus, Pennsylvania, where he attended Emmaus High School. At age 14 he began his professional performing career as a member of a jazz band in Allentown and joined the American Federation of Musicians. Soon thereafter, Buss was recruited into the Allentown Marine Band, where he became a regular member and occasionally soloed with the group.
As he neared high school graduation, Buss was recruited as a trombonist into the nationally known group, the Tijuana Brats. In the 3 years he performed with the band he appeared numerous times on national television programs including The Tonight Show, The Mike Douglas Show (multiple times), and The Jerry Lewis Telethon. He recorded with RCA Records in New York City and traveled extensively.
It was in college where Buss shifted his focus from popular music and jazz to classical music. In 1972 he received his B.A. in Applied Music Performance from West Chester State College (now West Chester University) where he studied music composition with Larry Nelson. Shortly thereafter he moved to East Lansing, Michigan where in 1974 he was awarded a M.M. in Trombone Performance from Michigan State University. It was at this time he began study with composer H. Owen Reed and was inspired to change his primary musical thrust from performance to composition. In 1975 he received a Master of Music|M.M. in Composition from MSU and he married Judy (Epstein), an accomplished woodwind specialist. They moved to Champaign-Urbana to attend the University of Illinois where Howard received a D.M.A. in Composition in 1977. His primary music composition teachers at U. of I. were Thomas Fredrickson and Salvatore Martirano. It was during this time that his works began to be published and noticed by the wider public.
Upon receiving his D.M.A. Buss moved with his wife, Judy, to Lakeland, Florida, where they reside to this day.
They established teaching studios: Howard taught the brass instruments, music theory and composition; and Judy taught the woodwind instruments. The studios thrived, and Howard continued to compose and seek publishers for his music. In 1985 he established Brixton Publications (ASCAP) and Howard J. Buss Publications (BMI). The catalog continues to expand to accommodate his compositions as well as those of many other American composers.
The following is a partial list of Buss' works:
- Coexistence for clarinet and 4 percussion, 1983
- Trombone Concerto version for trombone and piano, 1985 and version for trombone and band, 1986
- Sonic Fables: "Lessons from Aesop" for brass quintet and one percussion, 1992
- Modern Times for narrator, flute, and four percussion, duration: 30', 1995
- Millennium Visions for clarinet and string quartet, 2000
- The Heavens Awaken for bassoon and string quartet, 2009
- Cosmic Portraits in 2 versions: for flute, clarinet, alto sax, and tenor sax; and flute, oboe, clarinet, and bassoon, 2010
- Brom Bones in versions for trombone octet, 2005; and 10-part brass choir, 2010
- Three Euphonics for solo euphonium, 2011
- Jazzical #4 for horn, trombone, tuba, and piano, 2012
- St. Francis and the Animals for flute, clarinet, and harp, 2013
- Energico for band, 2014
- Reflective Journey" for horn and 4 percussion, 2015
- Alpine Spring for flute and harp on the CD "Flauto e arpa" from Bottega Discantica Records of Milan, Italy. Performed by Elena Cecconi, flute; and Paola Devoti, harp. "Flauto e arpa" BDI 188.
- Atmospheres for trumpet and one percussion is recorded on 2 different CDs - PL Productions DT002 - ATMOSPHERES, performed by Sheryl Linch, trumpet, and Don N. Parker, percussion; and on IBS Classical Records (Spain) - SPANISH MEMOIRS, performed by Diego Arias, trumpet and Yu-Jung Chung, percussion.
- Awakening for solo harp on the CD, JEWISH MEMORIES, performed by harpist Paola Devoti on La Bottega Discantica Records (Milan, Italy) BDI 248.
- Ballad for bass trombone and piano MOVING ON featuring Jonathan Warburton on bass trombone.
- Currents for four percussion - Capstone Records CPS-8735 - HOWARD J. BUSS: MODERN TIMES.
- Dragon Flight for flute and piano - FLUTE AND PIANO - La Bottega Discantica Records (Milan, Italy) BDI 237, performed by Elena Cecconi, flauto and Federico Brunello, piano.
- Fantasie for flute and piano - DUX Recording Producers, Warszawa, POLAND - on the CD FANTAISIE, performed by Agata Igras-Sawicka,flute, and Mariusz Rutkowski, piano DUX 0658.
- Four Miniatures for two bassoons - DUETTINO - Soundview Multimedia CD . Performed by Arnold Irchai and Tama Kott.
- Hurricane! for solo flute - FLAUTOSOLO from Bottega Discantica Records of Milan, Italy. Performed by Elena Cecconi. "FlautoSolo" BDI 187.
- Incantation for trumpet and percussion - recorded on three different CDs: on PL Productions DT001 - DOUBLE TAKE featuring Sheryl Linch, trumpet, and Don N. Parker, percussion; on Equilibrium Records EQ58 OLD NEWS: New Music for Trumpet and Percussion, performed by Steven Dunn and John Pennington; and on IBS Classical (Spain) Records SPANISH MEMOIRS, performed by Diego Arias, trumpet, and Yu-Jung Chung, percussion.
- Modern Times for flute, narrator and 4 percussion - Capstone Records CPS-8735 - HOWARD J. BUSS: MODERN TIMES.
- Moon Glow for flute and piano - on the CD "SOGNANDO LO SPAZIO Performed by Elena Cecconi and Tim Carey- Urania Records (Italy)
- Mysterious Exit for solo flute and percussion quartet - C. Alan Publications Label PREMIERS, VOL. 1, performed by Kim McCormick, flute, with the University of South Florida Percussion Ensemble.
- Night Flight for piccolo, clarinet, and piano - Crystal Records CD713 - TAKE WING, performed by Lois Bliss Herbine, piccolo; Allison Herz, clarinet; and Charles Abramovic, piano.
- Night Tide for trombone and marimba - IBS Classical Records (Spain) SPANISH MEMOIRS, performed by Manuel Quesada Benitez, trombone, and Yu-Jung Chung, marimba.
- Overture for Percussion (4 percussion) - Capstone Records CPS-8735 - HOWARD J. BUSS: MODERN TIMES.
- Pipe Dream for solo flute - Capstone Records CPS-8721 - TWILIGHT REMEMBERED: The McCormick Duo, Kim McCormick, flute.
- Rite of Passage for solo marimba - IBS Classical Records (Spain) - SPANISH MEMOIRS, performed by Yu-Jung Chung, marimba.
- Scenes from the Holy Land (flute and percussion) - Capstone Records CPS-8735 - HOWARD J. BUSS: MODERN TIMES.
- Seaside Reflections for flute and harp - Albany Records - ALLUME, performed by Brian Luce, flute, and Carrol McLaughlin, harp.
- Spanish Memoirs on IBS Classical Records (Spain) - SPANISH MEMOIRS, performed by Diego Arias, trumpet and percussionists Yu-Jung Chung, Antonio Jose Herrera Molina, Daniel Jesus Martin, and Jorge Cano Rodriguez.
- Stellar Visions for flute and marimba - Ravello Records (PARMA) RR-7814 - MCDUO, performed by the McCormick Duo.
- Wave Train for flute and marimba - HoneyRock RM01 - PREMIERS PLUS ONE The McCormick Flute and Percussion Duo.