"Unity Prelude" - An Easter Mediation

Medium sized chamber / church work for instrumental soloists (euphonium and clarinet). Reflective, melodic, warm, and engaging.

Creative Vision for the Track:
Intended to provide a backdrop for personal reflection before Mass. A call for peace, unity, acceptance, and compassion.

This is a follow up work to my “Pax Prelude” that I did several years ago. I received an email saying “Pax” will be used as part of the prelude music for my church during the Easter season. They also asked if my wife and I could record a duet for them (her on clarinet, me on euphonium) for similar use.

As I thought about “Pax Prelude” I thought about the desperate need for unity and compassion here in 2021. “Unity Prelude” is the result.

The piece is structured so it can work as on-line, sync music behind meditative photos or passages. It’s dually scored to be able to be played live by the music ministry in our church. The solo voices (euphonium and clarinet) align with my wife’s and my instruments. We haven’t played in church in over a year. We miss our community and making music together in person.

Please enjoy the music. May it bring you peace.

Composition Details (Tempo, Key, Main Chords etc):
Key: Eb major
Harmony: Voicings in fourths (open and closed) for the majority of the piece. Chords move between Eb and Db in the “A” section. “B” section ascends through modified Eb chords (e.g. F-11, Eb/G, AbLydian, Bbsus4 and sus2) cadencing with a deceptive Db rather than Bb7sus.

Main Instruments used:
Euphonium: ARK 2
Clarinet: BBCSO
Choir: Kontakt
DrumSet: Studio Drummer

“Unity Prelude” – Stan Bann (ASCAP)


Nice work again Stann! Euph + clarinet was an interesting combo I never thought of, but sounds great. I played euph a couple times as a kid when I studied trumpet and love the sound. I’d like to maybe substitute euph for trombone in one of my pieces once.

Again, loved this. Calming and peaceful.

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Thanks, Matt! Glad you enjoyed “Unity”!

Euph and clarinet are a great combination. I’m lucky in that my wife is a gifted clarinetist so we’ve done many chamber and church pieces together. We both tend to listen and lock in on each other and, after 41 years together (plus 11 before getting married) we pretty much know where the other is going. Even if we don’t we trust the other’s musical judgement.

Euphonium tends to be the wind band equivalent of the cello. I’ve played countless orchestra transcriptions where euphonium substitutes for cello when it doubles or supports the clarinets. Its a warm, beautiful, expressive sound.

One technique I used in “Pax Prelude” that I didn’t do here (which works wonderfully!) is to put the clarinet below the euphonium. A midrange euphonium line (roughly G3-G4) lets the euphonium be relaxed and full while the clarinet is in it’s rich, lower register. The more nuanced the performers the better but it works well both for soloists and for clarinet / euphonium sections.

I’m pretty sure I’ve shared “Pax Prelude” here before but, at the risk of redundancy, it is again. This is the first reading of the concert band orchestration with me on euphonium and my wife, Cherie, on clarinet. Enjoy!

Pax Prelude – Solo Euphonium and Clarinet w Concert Band


That was really good. Gave me some Golden Age movie vibes in style/sound. I really do have a thing for those tenor instruments–cello, horn, euph, even bassoon in kind of it’s middle, upper range. Maybe because those are the real cantabile instruments?

Also, 50 years! Wow! Congrats on that as well. Always enjoy your music.

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Thanks again, Matt! I truly appreciate your kind words!

We’ve done “Pax” live in our church with piano, bass, drums, and soloists (how it was originally conceived). I had some requests to expand that to concert band. I like how it turned out as well.

We will be doing a video of “Unity” for post Easter with live soloists in place of the VI ones here. Same backing tracks. Anxious explore that scenario, too! Who knows, there may be a concert band version in the near future as well!

Stay safe! Be well!