A Very Neece Cello – Yes Neece means ‘nice’ because Mrs. Brenda Scott (Neece) is absolutely nice and wonderful! The idea of this piece came to me when I was in her Western Musical Instruments class during the spring semester of my sophomore year. She was talking about her 6-string cello and she loved to play it. I was thinking to myself and just blurted out I want to write a piece for you! She was excited and so was I, even though at the time I wanted to put my foot in my mouth because I didn’t have an idea for a cello piece. I decided to make it one of my pieces for my portfolio in composition class. Let me say this, God works in mysterious ways. A couple of days before that class, I was listening to the CD, Yo-Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone, so I had a idea of how the cello plays as the soloist. But I still didn’t have a melody. It gets better. I was in Biddle in one of the practice rooms for like an hour and 27 minutes, just frustrated because I could not get something concrete. Then my friend and former football teammate Marvin Marcelin walked past the door, spotted me and decided to come in. We talked for a bit and I told him what was going on. He then said that he remembered a little melody on the piano he heard and tried to emulate it. Now, he is not a piano person, but he played slowly E (quarter note), C (quarter note), G-F-E (triplet), F (quarter note), C (quarter note). It was somewhat that pattern. Then I imitated him and put it with an A minor triad  to a F chord in 1st inversion and it was like a light clicked on and I had my melody! He was amazed but I don’t think he was as amazed as I was! Not because of me but because of God! Out of all the music majors, minors, whatever, he sent my teammate to the rescue! I rejoiced! So that’s the story behind the making of it.

The process was a little long but it was worth it. I finished what was later known as a draft of it to complete my portfolio for composition class. I had the honor of working with Professor Kelley over that following summer. He brought up the piece and said that it had some potential but it still needed some work. That’s when he introduced me to Franz Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-flat major, particularly II. Andante con moto. Umm…OBSESSED! Beautiful! And it got me really using augmented sixth chords and using them well, as I use many in A Very Neece Cello. I loved the triplet motive idea that Marvin gave me so I stuck with that. I did a lot of triplets against eighth notes play in the piece, same as Schubert in his Piano Trio. I liked the idea of reharmonization while the cello sang on a pitch, which also elongated the phrase. After a 6/4 chord stretched out for three measures, the music goes into a fighting march style. The chords are pretty stagnant compared to the beginning of the piece. After a measure of complete silence, the music’s texture is smoother but still moving.*

*Note: I do want to revise the ending again. When I finally have a chance to do that, I will finish the last bit of the description