The Brass Music of William Adam

About the Arrangements

During his tenure at Indiana University, William Adam conducted an exclusive brass choir featuring the top musicians from the university. Available to the public for the first time, his arrangements provide a musical and pedagogical  foundation for brass musicians of all calibers.

The arrangements are available in digital PDF format for easy, automatic delivery. What's more, the students of Mr. Adam have graciously included audio recordings of each arrangement to enjoy and to learn from. 

The arrangements are available individually, or as a complete set at a significant discount.

Proceeds from the sale of these arrangements benefit the William Adam Trumpet Festival

Introduction and Performance Tips from Dr. Karl Sievers:

My First Experience in Mr. Adam's Brass Choir

Being part of Mr. Adam's Brass Choir was a truly special experience. As a college freshman, I was captivated by the ensemble's sound. It was at once glorious, thrilling, unique, and electrifying. I recall thinking that no matter where my career took me, I would never encounter such an awe-inspiring brass ensemble sound again. A prediction, which time proved to be correct.

The Pillars of the Ensemble: The Players

An integral part of the ensemble's magnificent sound was its players. The trumpet section, in particular, was an assemblage of exceptional talent - and this is no exaggeration. Those musicians have since made their mark in the professional realm. This is equally true for members of the horn, trombone, euphonium, and tuba sections, many of whom now hold esteemed positions in orchestras and recording studios around the globe.

Mr. Adam's Unique Conducting Style

Mr. Adam’s conducting style was unique and could take some getting used to. His approach was a blend of kindness and humor, yet also utterly demanding. Being part of his ensemble was a privilege. If one didn't meet the expectations, someone was always ready to take their spot. Although the atmosphere was friendly, the standards were rigid. Mr. Adam's conducting encouraged continuous, linear phrasing with dynamic extremes, always emphasizing "the sound." The group leaders earned their positions because they could consistently deliver this sound.

Mr. Adam's Remarkable Arrangements

Those who were part of the ensemble couldn't help but be impressed by Mr. Adam's remarkable arrangements. Unbeknownst to some, he had had a notable career as a commercial arranger for major networks, a key player in the jingle industry, and had studied arranging at the Eastman School. His approach to chords and voicings was innovative, moving beyond traditional composition means and considering color, resulting in magical music. His harmonies were lush and compelling, and his voice-leading smooth.

The Golden Age of Brass: Mr. Adam's Love for the Sound

Mr. Adam's deep love for the resounding sound of the Brass Choir often gets overlooked. He would frequently reminisce about the "Golden Age" of brass, and his desire to encapsulate that essence in his arrangements was evident. The sound he curated within this elite group was nourishment for his musical soul.

Performance Notes

To get the most of these arrangements, the following guidelines can make a world of a difference:
  1. Embrace the resonant richness of the sound, irrespective of dynamics, note lengths, or articulation.
  2. Perform LONG lines.
  3. Sustain to the utmost extent.
  4. Prefer legato tonguing over harsh articulations.
  5. Maintain balance and blend throughout the ensemble.
  6. And, above all, enjoy the experience.

The Brass Music of William Adam Recording Personnel