For Children's Choir and Brass Band
The Puffing Devil (2013) was commissioned by Camborne Trevithick Day Committee on the occasion of Camborne’s 30th Trevithick Day celebration. The premiere performance of the work, written for brass band and children’s choir, saw a massed performance by six brass bands and children from nine local schools. With the intention of being an educational work as well as a musical work, The Puffing Devil reflects the story of Richard Trevithick both in the lyrics and the musical material. A mysterious opening sees running semiquavers in the euphoniums as the flugel horn introduces the work with a solo, before the entry of the horns playing rhythmic quavers. The addition of the voices at the outset is for effect – working with the instruments to create the sound of a steam engine gathering pace simply to the words ‘Trevithick’. Once a steady tempo is reached, themes are introduced and sung by the choir, where the vocal writing is a very simple singular-melody; easy for any primary school aged children to learn. An ending of grandeur in a majestic nature is presented, to create a big finish to a feel-good educational work.