Simone Mantia (1873 - 1951) was born in Italy and moved with his family to USA in 1881. He developed an early interest in playing the euphonium and from 1898 to 1904 was the euphonium soloist of the Sousa Band. This solo was written by him to demonstrate both the operatic qualities of his instrument as well as its outstanding technical possibilities. The solo is based on themes by the Italian composer Ermano Picchi (1811 - 1856), Mantia weaving his virtuosic variations around the thematic material provided by Picchi.
This arrangement was prepared at the request of Aaron VanderWeele, euphonium soloist of the New York Staff Band, for his UK tour in 2008.