El Camino Real (literally "The Royal Road" or "The King's Highway") was commissioned by, and is dedicated to, the 581st Air Force Band (AFRES) and its Commander, Lt. Col. Ray E. Toler. Composed during the latter half of 1984 and completed in early '85, it bears the subtitle: "A Latin Fantasy."
The music is based on a series of chord progressions common to countless generations of Spanish flamenco (and other) guitarists, whose fiery style and brilliant playing have captivated millions of music lovers throughout the world. These progressions and the resulting key relationships have become practically synonymous with what we feel to be the true Spanish idiom. Together with the folk melodies they have underscored, in part derived by a procedure known to musicians as the "melodizing of harmony," they have created a vast body of what most people would consider authentic Spanish music.
The first section of the music is based upon the dance form known as the Jota, while the second, contrasting section is derived from the Fandango, but here altered considerably in both time and tempo from its usual form. Overall, the music follows a traditional three-part pattern: fast-slow-fast.
The first public performance of El Camino Real took place on April 15th, 1985 in Sarasota, Florida, with the 581st Air Force Band under the direction of Lt. Col. Ray E. Toler.
This arrangement for brass band has been made by Frode Rydland.