Balthazar Joins the Sacred Company
(Have you ever picked cotton?)

Darkest Night is a new work for tuba and prerecorded sound by Los Angeles area composer William Roper . This work is a musical soundscape depicting the night that King Balthazar joined the sacred company of kings in their trek to adore the Christ child.

The work is 16 minutes, 57 seconds long. Required range is from 4th ledger line F below the bass clef staff (there is an optional C below this) to 2nd ledger line Eb above the bass clef staff. Other than whatever difficulties the range may present to the player, this work has no technical difficulties. It does however, have two instances of improvisation. The improvisation requires no special skill other than a bit of imagination and good taste, so the player should not be put-off by this. The greatest challenge of this work is the required musicianship. Basically, once the CD has started, the tubaist is on his own in placing the written music tastefully within the provided soundtrack. Absolute liberty is given to the performer, expecting that he will play all the written material.

Darkest Night is a secular work appropriate for recitals, but given its subject matter, obviously it could work well for religious gatherings. It is a meditative work. The work's subtitle "Have you ever picked cotton?" references the important contribution of African Americans to the religious music of the world.

Darkest Night is available directly from the
composer for $20.00, including music, soundtrack CD, shipping and handling.

See the video of Roper's Fanfares and Arhoolies on youtube

Land Ob Cotton - A Tragic Slapstick

William Roper is a Miraphone artist and plays Warburton mouthpieces.