Robert Wendel

Born in 1951, Robert Wendel studied conducting with Harold Farberman, Brian Priestman, and Michael Charry, and composition and orchestration with Leroy Anderson and Hale Smith. He has guest conducted many of the major symphony orchestras in America including the Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Minnesota, Baltimore, Atlanta, Cincinnati, and Dallas Symphony orchestras, and has toured the US and Europe as conductor for Harry Connick Jr., culminating in the PBS special "Romance From Paris" and concert for the 1998 Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo, Norway. Robert also conducted national and European tours of "The Pirates Of Penzance" and "Evita."

He has been conductor and arranger for Harry Connick, Jr., Carol Channing, Rita Moreno and other stars. As composer, arranger, and publisher, Robert has written for musical theater, symphony orchestra, PBS-TV, the 1993 Presidential Inauguration, "Cirque de la Symphonie," and television commercials. He created and conducted an entire concert saluting the cartoon music of Hanna-Barbera Productions for the San Bernardino Symphony, and an evening of Two Centuries of American Music as the first conductor to take the podium of the New Britain Symphony upon the retirement of its Music Directer after 38 years.

His "Fanfare For Freedom" is rapidly becoming a staple in the symphonic Memorial Day and July 4th repertory, and his arrangements are frequently heard at Cincinnati Pops Concerts. Three of his Christmas arrangements have been recorded by the Cincinnati Pops with Erich Kunzel for Telarc and "Commemoration" has been adopted as almost a memorial "anthem" in concerts across the USA after the events of 9-11-2001 and has been recorded on ABC Classics by the Tasmanian Symphony, and was featured live coast-to-coast in the 2006 National Memorial Day Concert on PBS to dedicate the WW II Monument, again in 2009 as part of the tribute to Abraham Lincoln narrated by Lawrence Fishbourne, and yet again in 2011 as part of Gen. Colin Powell's welcoming home of our troops.


Original Compositions

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UPTOWN EXPRESS

by Robert Wendel
Watch YouTube Video
Description: This is a fusion work combining elements of classical, jazz, minimalism and polytonality into a musical impression of a ride on the subway complete with squealing wheels, "click-clack" of rail joints, random metallic noises and even the "ding-dong" warning of the doors closing. Many listeners have also commented that this work has the feel of "gamer music" and should appeal to video game enthusiasts of all ages.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2+EHn(opt)/2+BCl/2+Cbn(opt) - 4/3/3/1 - Timp, Traps + 2 perc, Piano(opt), Harp and Strings
Duration:6:45
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental only.
Notes: NEW for 2013

COMMEMORATION

by Robert Wendel
Description: An original work by Robert Wendel that is a sort of "double trumpet voluntary" suitable for any occasion of importance or remembrance. Starting as almost a funeral march, it builds slowly and relentlessly to a life-affirming conclusion.
Instrumentation2+picc/1 + E. Hrn/2/2 - 4/2,3,or 4 Trumpets/3/1 Timpani, 2-3 percussion, optional organ, and strings
Duration:3:45
Comments: "...a penetrating work." — The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Notes: Though composed and premiered in 2000 to remember the unexpected passing of two long-time friends, Commemoration was performed numerous times around the country in the months following the 9-11 attack, most notably on a 7 city tour by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops. It was also played at the Kennedy Space center launch pad in a memorial concert for the Challenger Astronauts and was featured on the 2006 National Memorial Day Concert to mark the opening of the WW II memorial, telecast Nationally May 28th & 29th on PBS with Erich Kunzel conducting the National Symphony, again as part of the Lincoln Tribute on the 2009 live telecast, and yet again on the 2011 telecast for Gen. Colin Powell's welcoming home of our troops.
This work has been recorded by Sean O'Boyle & The Tasmanian Symphony for ABC Classics, and a CD quality download of this work from the album "American Reflections" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.

FANFARE FOR FREEDOM

by Robert Wendel
Description: An original composition by Robert Wendel, rapidly becoming an often-programmed opener for Memorial Day and 4th of July concerts with its blazing trumpets, thundering timpani, and pealing bells with over 250 performances to date.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, 2-3 percussion, opt piano, and strings
Duration:3:30
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental only.
Notes: This work served as the July 4th Concert opener for the Atlanta Symphony 7 years in a row, was conducted by Erich Kunzel numerous times in Cincinnati, Naples, and on tour, and has been frequently performed on Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Veterans Day across the country every year.
Notes: A CD quality download of this work from the album "American Reflections" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com

FANFARE: WELCOME HOME

by Robert Wendel
Description: An original composition dedicated to all who have seen foreign service, both military and civilian. This fanfare for brass and percussion only begins and ends heroically, with a more reverential section of remembrance in the middle.
Instrumentation:0/0/0/0 - 4/4(or 3)/3/1 - Timp, Sn Dr., Field Dr., Bass Drum. (+ Optional herald trumpets in the finale)
Duration:3:05
Cost:$100/+$50/+$25 Rental Only.
Notes: This work was premiered by The Gulf Coast Symphony of Mississippi on May 29, 2010.

MEDITATION

by Robert Wendel
Description: An adagio-threnody for string orchestra was given honorable mention in the 2007 Fauxharmonic "Adagio Contest" for its "...outstanding quality and emotional power."
Instrumentation:Strings only.
Duration:5:30
Notes: World premiere: University of Wyoming Symphony, Feb. 25, 2010. Dr. Michael T. Griffith, conductor.
Cost:$100/+$50/+$25 Rental Only.
Notes: A CD quality download of this work from the album "American Reflections" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com

THIS IS CHANUKAH

by Robert Wendel
Description: This new Chanukah song celebrates the lighting of the Menorah each night for 8 nights to remember the miracle of the Macabees. It begins softly with only one candle giving its light, but it gradually builds in volume and intensity as each new candle is lit, making the light grow stronger and stronger. Its flexible scoring allows for smaller ensembles, and its vocal compliment can accommodate a child or adult soloist, or a children's choir along with an SATB chorus, depending on your resources.
Instrumentation:2/1+E Hn/2/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timp + 2 Perc, Harp, Celesta, and Strings, plus Soloist (or Childrens' Choir) and SATB chorus.
Duration:4:05
Cost:$240/+$120/+$60 Rental Only. Includes 50 chorus books.
Notes:Minimum sounding instrumentation is: 2/2/2/1 - 2 (or 3)/2/0/0 - Glock, Harp or Piano, and Strings plus Soloist and SATB chorus.
Notes:Premiered by The Philly Pops, David Charles Abell conducting, and The University Of Wyoming Symphony and chorus, Dr. Michael T. Griffith conducting. Called "engaging" by The Philadelphia Enquirer.
Notes:Named as a finalist for "The American Prize" 2014 for choral composition.

TOWERS OF LIGHT - An Elegy for Orchestra

by Robert Wendel
Description: This work was inspired by memories and impressions of the annual light tributes held at "Ground Zero" in NYC every year. It depicts the Hudson River at sunset and the Manhattan skyline playing with light. As darkness descends, the light "towers" gradually appear, reaching ever upwards. Dust, clouds, and smoke swirl within the light columns, as if ascending towards the infinite. Finally, gradually, the light towers fade into morning twilight, not to be seen for another year.
Instrumentation:2/2(2d EH)/2/2 - 2(or 4)/0/0/0 - timp, 2 perc, celeste, harp, and strings
Duration:7:00
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Notes:This work placed 4th nationally in the 2011 "American Prize for Orchestral Composition."
Notes: The RSO gave this mournful contemporary work an exquisite interpretation, and the audience, held in its spell, respectfully waited a couple of beats before they applauded. - Libby Parker, The Rockford Register Star Review, 7/5/2011
Notes: A CD quality download of this work from the album "American Reflections" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com

THE TALL SHIPS

by Robert Wendel
Newly revised!
Description: An original tone picture by Robert Wendel that evokes the spirit of the early maritime explorers, the wind in the sails, sea chanties, and waves crashing on the ship's bow.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, 2-3 percussion, harp, Celeste and strings
Duration:5:55
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Notes: "Robert Wendel's 'The Tall Ships' proved a cinematic extravaganza, the soundtrack for tall ships sailed by old salts." - JEFFREY KACZMARCZYK, The GR Press July 29,2011
Notes: A CD quality download of this work from the album "American Reflections" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com

TAKE FLIGHT

by Robert Wendel
Description: An original composition to mark the 100th anniversary of controlled, powered flight, yet celebrating everyone who dares to dream.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2+opt B Cl/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, 2-3 percussion, and strings
Duration:5:20
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.

THE POLTERGEIST POLKA

by Robert Wendel
Description: Poltergeist: noun: "a ghost or other supernatural being supposedly responsible for physical disturbances such as loud noises and objects thrown around." Well, this piece certainly fits that definition, with loud noises, whistles, bangs and more. Great fun for any audience.
Instumentation:2+picc/2/2+ B Cl/2+CBsn - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, 2-4 percussion, opt banjo, and strings
Duration:3:00
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Notes:

A HALLOWEEN TRILOGY

by Robert Wendel
 
Description: You may rent all three works below as a package for $280/+$140/+$70!!!
Component Works:
  • THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM

    An original composition based on the famous short story by Edgar Allan Poe: The Inquisition, The Pit, The Pendulum, The Walls Close In, A Blast of Noise and Liberation by the French Army. Great for Halloween, literary or educational concerts.
    Instrumentation: 2/2/2/2 - 4/2/3/1 - Timpani, Xylophone, Glock, Tam-Tam, Susp Cymbal, Guerro, Tenor Drum, Piatti and Bass Drum, and Strings.
    Duration: 5:20
    Cost: $175/+$87.50/+$43.75 Rental Only.

  • TRICK OR TREAT

    This work harks back to a simpler time when children went from house to house yelling "trick-or-treat, trick-or-treat, give us something good to eat!" Along the way, they pick up friends, spend a little time in the local "haunted house" and then resume their trip. Finally, someone scares them but good, and they all scatter to their respective homes to enjoy the fruits of their Halloween night.
    Instrumentation: 2/2/2/2 - 0/0/0/0 - Xylophone, Snare Drum, Susp Cymbal, and Strings.


    Alternate Instrumentation for pairing with "Peter & The Wolf": 1/1/1/1 - 3/1/0/0 - Xylophone, Snare Drum, Susp Cymbal, and Strings. Specify "Peter Orch" when ordering!
    Duration: 3:40
    Cost: $125/+$62.50/+$31.25 Rental Only.

  • RIDE OF THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN

    An original composition based on the Legend Of Sleepy Hollow. Creepy sounds of the foggy forrest, the clock strikes midnight, the horse rears up, and the chase is on until the Headless Horseman traps Ichabod Crane on the covered bridge and "the deed is done!"
    Instrumentation: 2+picc/1+E Hn/2+B Cl/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, Trap set, Mark Tree, Xylophone, Glock, Chimes, Tam-Tam, Triangle, Piatti and Bass Drum, Harp, and Strings.
    Duration: 5:25
    Cost: $190/+$95/+$47.50 Rental Only.

Duration:15 minutes total performance time.
Cost:$280 Combined Rental
Notes:A truly international hit with performances in the USA, Australia, Canada, UK, and Scotland.
Notes: A CD quality download of this work from the album "American Reflections" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com

VIRGINIA, 1861

for Chorus, Children's Choir & Orchestra      Words adapted from Herman Melville and James Joyce.
by Robert Wendel
 
Description: For the sesquicentennial of The Civil War, this work is based on an 1861 Civil War poem by Herman Melville and a 1907 poem by James Joyce. This work is alternatively angry and joyous, pensive and hopeful, warlike, and ultimately peaceful. Though generally employing a more traditional and "accessible" musical language, this work is often very untraditional in its content.
Instrumentation:2+Picc/2/2+BCl/2 - 4/3/3/1+Opt Euph. - timp + 3 perc, harp, piano/celeste, strings, SATB chorus, Boys [or childrens] Choir.
Duration:approximately 15 minutes.
Notes: NEW for 2014

THE WOLF WAS FRAMED!

by Robert Wendel
New!
Description: The "adult version" of a musical tale you grew up with, this one is definitely NOT for the younger children. Add a local "celebrity" narrator, and you have a fun work for your orchestra and audience perfect for a pops concert, April Fool's Day, Halloween or "First Night" concert. The music and narration are all new and original, and the orchestration exactly matches Prokofiev's orchestration.
Instrumentation:1/1/1/1 - 3/1/1/0 - timp, perc and Strings.
Duration:About 9:30
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Notes:Premiered by The Cherokee Symphony, Lee Thorson, conductor.

THE APRIL FOOL CONCERTO aka "The Instant Concerto"

by Robert Wendel
Description: What can be said other than that this work lasts over 8 minutes, yet it doesn't have a single original theme in it! It's loaded with quotes Tschaikovsky to Sousa, from "Chop-Sticks" to Happy Birthday, and many "sight-gags" from a wedding to a cowboy gun fight! Truly a piece of comic relief. Mod easy solo piano part.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/2/2/1[opt] - Timpani, 2-3 percussion, and strings
Duration:8:15
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Notes:New version commissioned by Erich Kunzel for the Cincinnati Pops

PARADE OF THE PERCUSSIONISTS

by Robert Wendel
Description: A new, original march FOR the percussion section accompanied by the orchestra. A great surprise for any Pops concert, and perfect for Young People's Concerts. Exactly how many percussionists you use depends on how "athletic" they can be...which can make for good "visuals" too!
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/3/1 and strings PLUS Timpani, Trap Drums, 3-4 percussion, opt. piano
Duration:3:50
Cost:$190/+$95/+$47.50 Rental Only.

FANTASIA ON "YEROUSHALAIM SHEL ZAHAV"

by Robert Wendel
Description: A musical fantasia on the Israeli folk song "Jerusalem Of Gold" (used in the film "Schindler's List"). Appropriate any time, including Chanukah.
Instrumentation:1/1+EH/1/1 - 0/0/0/0, 1 prc, harp, and strings
Duration:5:20
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.

CARIBBEAN SLEIGH RIDE

by Robert Wendel
Description: As it gets cold outside, turn up the holiday heat with this fast merengue full of congas, guira, temple blocks, whip cracks, and authentic Latin rhythms. This will be a fun surprise for all at any holiday concert.
Comments: 2010 Premiere cycle included: The Orlando Philharmonic, Grand Rapids Symphony, Anderson Symphony, Desert Symphony, New Bedford Symphony, and TV broadcast premiere by The Flint Symphony.
Comments: "Not that there weren't fun surprises among the Christmas fare, too: A percussive bounce permeated "Caribbean Sleigh Ride" by Robert Wendel as island-flavored snippets of carols such as "Jingle Bells" bubbled over the beat." — Matt Palm - The Orlando Sentinel Nov. 27, 2010
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2+ opt B Cl/2 - 4/3/3/1 - 3-4 percussion, harp[opt], piano[opt], and strings
Duration:4 minutes
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Notes: A CD quality download of this work from the album "Christmas - Old & New" is available at CDBaby, iTunes, and Amazon.com.

THE BELLS OF CHRISTMAS

by Robert Wendel and Vince Trani
Description: An original work for chorus and orchestra by Robert Wendel with co-lyricist Vince Trani which celebrates all the various bell sounds of the Christmas season.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2+ opt B. Cl/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, 2-3 percussion, harp, opt celeste [or piano], opt HANDBELLS, and strings
Duration:3:40
Cost:$240/+$120/+$60 Rental Only.
Includes 100 chorus books with extra books available at 25¢ each.

SANTA DEAR

by Robert Wendel and Vince Trani
Description: An original work for childrens chorus [or solo] and orchestra with lyrics by Vince Trani and music by Robert Wendel. This is a rather humorous "letter of denial" to Santa from someone who seems to get into a lot of trouble during the year. What if Bart Simpson wrote a letter to santa? This would be it!
Instrumentation:2/2/2/2 -0/0/0/0 - timp, 2 perc, celeste (or piano), harp, and strings.
Duration:3:10
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
20 chorus books provided. Additional books are available at 25¢ each.

CHRISTMAS THROUGH CHILDREN'S EYES

by Robert Wendel and Vince Trani
Description: A new, original work for chorus and orchestra in waltz time. Mostly a joyous evocation of the simple joys of a younger age, but with a nostalgic turn in the coda. Premiered 2001 by Ken Staton and the Kona Symphony Orchestra & Chorus.
Instrumentation:2+picc-2-2-2/4-3-3-1/timp-chimes-glock-sleigh bells-piatti-toy piano[provided with rental]/harp/strings and SATB choir.
Duration:3:50
Cost:$240/+$120/+$60 Rental Only.
Includes 100 chorus books. Additional books are available at 25¢ each.

IT WOULDN'T BE CHRISTMAS WITHOUT YOU

by Robert Wendel and Vince Trani
Vocal Solo Chorus
Description: An jazzy original work for for baritone or mezzo solo, or chorus and orchestra by composer Robert Wendel and lyricist Vince Trani that expresses the universal longing for family and friends to be together at Christmas time.
Instrumentation:2+picc/2/2/2 - 4/3/3/1 - Timpani, Trap Set +2 percussion, harp, and strings
Duration:3:10
Cost:$200/+$100/+$50 Rental Only.
Includes 50 chorus books with extra books available at 25¢ each.
Notes: Premiere cycle included The Flint Symphony Telecast, The Arkansas Symphony, and The West Hartford Symphony.

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