James Naigus

Unaccompanied Horn

Glide

This 5-minute single movement piece imitates the actions of flight including lift, soaring, stalling, and the pure exhilaration of mastering the skies. Written for Katey Jahnke.
Premiered on March 1st, 2013 at Ohio State University.
Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Mirage

Mirage is a 5-minute, three movement piece that showcases the horn's technical, melodic, and whimsical characteristics. Written for Patrick Walle.

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Primary Ignition

Written as the required piece for the first round of the 2013 Southeast Horn Workshop's solo competition, Primary Ignition is a concise but jam-packed solo piece designed to test all aspects of horn playing. The piece is split into three main sections, the first being quick and in tempo, the second allowing for more rubato and expression, and the third slowly accelerating into the exciting conclusion.

Available through RM Williams Publishing

Specific Impulse

Specific impulse is a term in rocketry relating to engine efficiency. The life-span of a rocket is quite an event, from the highly kinetic launch, to the empty and reflective orbit, to the fiery re-entry. The arched shape of flight is often manifested in music, and in the case of this piece, done so with a hint of programmaticism. Technically demanding, this piece requires great dexterity as well as knowledge of extended techniques on the horn.

Solo Horn and Tape

Soundings

Soundings was written for Jeffrey Agrell in 2013, and is heard as the titular track in his latest CD. The piece's fixed accompaniment centers around the sound of the Hang, a Swiss-made percussion instrument similar in sound to a steel pan. The horn acts as an extension of the voice of the Hang, whose pitches are fixed by nature.
This piece is available in two versions: one with additional time in the middle for improvisation, and one without.

Available direct from composer - persusal score available upon request.


Horn and Orchestra

Radiant Dances

Please see the Radiant Dances page for more info!

Solo horn with Piano

Episodes

Episodes is a set of contrasting musical chapters that takes the listener through a passage of time and experience. The seven distinct movements end with cyclical closure, creating an encapsulated narrative that is a sum of its parts.

"I am certain that both young and experienced players will enjoy performing these, whether as a full set or in smaller groups." -Jeffrey Snedeker, Horn Call October 2012
Available through RM Williams Publishing

Equinox

Equinox is a sister piece to Solstice, and is a melodic and sonorous single movement work, technically accesibile for a wide range of players.

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Penumbra

Written for Drew Phillips and premiered on March 2nd 2014 at Liberty University. A penumbra is part of a shadow, as in an eclipse, and this piece takes that sense of light and dark as a base for the overall mood.
Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Solstice

Solstice was composed in 2014 and was written for and dedicated to Wayne Lu. The solstice is the midpoint of either summer or winter occurring on what would be the longest or shortest day of the year, respectively. In what was a relatively long and harsh winter, I found the duality between the season's cold bleakness and softened beauty enchanting. This piece journeys through these contrasting states of being, but does not always settle harmoniously, as the winter is only half over and darkness continues to ominously pervade.

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Songs of Sorrow

Songs of Sorrow is a set of three tragically themed pieces for horn and piano. These pieces are designed to be played either as a set, or individually, and consists of "Chanson," "Valse Triste," and "Elegy."



Premiered at the 2013 IHS Symposium in Memphis, TN.
Available through RM Williams Publishing

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Horn Duet with Piano

Journey's Call

As MirrorImage was preparing for recording their Safari album, it happened that Reverie (a different composition for two horns and piano) was already programmed, though as the only non-commissioned work on the disc. The desire to collaborate on this project manifested itself in this second piece, a corollary to the first. In following with the safari theme, Journey's Call depicts the progression of an adventure, from daybreak through the stillness of the midnight sky. The return of the opening fanfare signals the start of a new day – a call for a new journey.

Available from RM Williams Publishing

Lullaby for Addie

Lullaby for Addie was composed in 2014 and was written for and dedicated to Patrick and Kristin Smith. This piece was written in celebration of their newborn child, Addison Smith.
Also available for horn and trombone duet with piano.
Recording coming soon!

Reverie

Reverie is a single movement, multi sectional piece that is very accessible, yet rewarding. It starts with a slower, more contemplative opening, followed by an energetic and temultuous middle. The piece ends similar to how it begins, but with a greater sense of closure and resolution.
This piece was premiered at the 2012 IHS Symposium in Denton, TX by Michelle Stebleton and Lisa Bontrager of MirrorImage.

"(Reverie) is a five-minute piece that audiences will definitely enjoy since it plays to one of the horn's best strengths: long, lush melodies." -Jeffrey Snedeker, Horn Call October 2012
Available through RM Williams Publishing

Venturi

Venturi was composed in 2017 and was written for Steven Cohen and Jeb Wallace of the Ad-Venturi Horn Duo. The piece was premiered at the 2017 MidSouth Hornworkshop at Southeast Missouri State University.


Available direct from composer.

Horn Trio with Piano

Landscapes

Landscapes was written in 2013 for Patrick Smith and premiered on September 18th in Stockholm, Sweden by Patrick Smith, Kristin Smith, and Annamia Larsson on horn, with Tomoko Kanamaru on piano. This single movement, multi-sectional piece takes the listener on a journey through the vastly beautiful and varied landscape of Sweden.

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Horn Quartet

Beale Suite

Beale Suite was commissioned and written for Heidi Vogel and the Otter Valley Horn Quartet (Hilary Gunn, Trevor Ives, Jonathan Stoneman, Jo White) with additional support by William Paulick for the 2013 International Horn Society Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee. It is comprised of five contrasting movements influenced by the styles and artists of the Memphis blues. The odd numbered movements are in a more traditional blues idiom (also slightly reminiscent of the three-part blues structure), whereas the even numbered movements are harmonically and stylistically on the opposite spectrum.

Premiered at the 2013 IHS Symposium in Memphis, TN.
Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Christmas Shorts

Six short movements for horn quartet featuring your favorite holiday tunes! Movements include:

1. Deck the Halls
2. O Come O Come Emmanuel
3. What Child is This
4. Angels We Have Heard on High
5. I Wonder as I Wander
6. I Saw Three Ships



Available directly from the composer - send me an email!

Two Pieces

Two pieces for horn quartet, including the lush and melodious Chorale as well as Ceremony, an up-beat fanfare/march.
Premiered at the 2013 Southeast Horn Workshop in Richmond, VA.

Horn Quintet

Three Shades

In my opinion, one of the best abilities of the horn is to express a variety of musical colors and/or timbres. This piece consists of three contrasting movements that highlight this ability. The titles of each movement are left open for the listener to decide! Written for the 2013 Southeast Horn Workshop in Richmond, VA.
Available soon through RM Williams Publishing

Three For Five

Winner of an honorable mention in the 2009 IHS Composition Contest, Three For Five consists of three constrasting movements, featuring close harmonies and catchy melodies.

Available through RM Williams Publishing

Horn Sextet

Afterglow

Written in 2012 for David Johnson's Daytona Summer Horn Camp.


Canticle and Flourish

Written in 2014 for David Johnson.

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

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Horn Octet

Aileron

Aileron was composed for the 2015 International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles.

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Halcyon

Halcyon was composed for the 2013 Summer Brass Institute in San Francisco, California. Originally for brass septet, it was adapted for horn octet and premiered at the 2013 IHS Symposium in Memphis, TN.

Available through RM Williams Publishing

Harvest Light

Harvest Light is a piece for solo horn and horn choir and was composed for the 2017 Florida Horn Festival and premiered by soloist Bernhard Scully and the University of Florida horn choir under the direction of Dr. Paul Basler.

The title comes from the subtle, yet beautiful shift in the evening sky during the autumn season. There is a certain warm glow that is cast upon the land, signaling a time of cooler weather and changing colors. The warm and rich sonorities of horn choir plus solo horn, in my mind, is the perfect vessel to musically embody this fall landscape.

Demo recording:


Jubilee

Written in 2011 for David Johnson's Daytona Summer Horn Camp, this fanfare features tight knit harmonies, forward-driving melodies and accompaniment, and great accessibility in overall range and difficulty.

Available through RM Williams Publishing

Melee

The word melee comes from the french word meler, which means "to mix." A melee is commonly defined as combat with no organization, and is thus chaotic and certainly in a state of agitation. An exhilarating skirmish, primarily in 5/4, Melee's opening fanfare soon gives way to a sense of urgency and drive, which lasts the whole piece. A sister piece to Bells!, the opening bell tones are of a more brooding or tolling nature, which sets the mood of this piece apart from its joyous counterpart.

Available through RM Williams Publishing

Venture Set

Written in 2009 for David Johnson, this piece features three movements of contrasting styles.


Horn 9+tet

White Mountain Fanfare

Written for the 2017 Kendall Betts Horn Camp, White Mountain Fanfare is a 2-minute exciting opener for 10 horns.
Available as PDF download:

Bells! - 12 Horns

Written in 2009 for David Johnson, Bells! is a fanfare for twelve horns. It is in compound meter with some duple rhythms and features both small group solis as well as large tuttis. The opening of the piece represents the joyous ringing of bells, which then returns later in a great display of polyphony.

Available through RM Williams Publishing

Starboard - 12 horns

See Starboard at the bottom of the page.

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Solo Trombone with Piano

Incursions

A sectional but continuous piece that takes the listening on a journey through several emotional states. Features a large interior cadenza. Written in 2013 for Dr. Jonathan Allen.
Available direct from composer - persusal score available upon request.


Trio for Horn Trombone and Piano

Journey's Call

An adaptation of the 2 horn and piano version of Journey's call.
Available direct from composer.

Lullaby for Addie

An adaptation of the 2 horn and piano version of Lullaby for Addie.
Available direct from composer.

Reverie

An adaptation of the 2 horn and piano version of Reverie.
Available direct from composer.

Spectra

Three movement piece for horn, trombone, and piano commissioned by Jason Johnston and premiered at the 2016 Northwest Horn Symposium.

Available direct from composer - persusal score available upon request.


Tuba Euphonium Ensemble

Quartetto Fanfara

Vibrant fanfare for tuba quartet.
Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

In Shadow's Light

Written for James E. Jenkins, this chorale-like piece features lush chords and close harmonies.
Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Brass Choir

Halcyon

Halcyon was composed for the 2013 Summer Brass Institute in San Francisco, California.
Recording from the premiere featuring the high school ensemble from the Summer Brass Institute.
2tp, 2hn, 2tb, 1eu (also available for horn octet!)
Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

Starboard

Starboard was composed in 2012 and is dedicated to James E. Jenkins and the University of Florida Symphonic Brass. The piece features frequent meter changes, rhythmic interplay, and many smaller musical motifs that make up the larger whole. The narrative of the piece is one of sailing into the unknown. To start, the solo horn and trumpet have a call and echo, reverberating over calm waters. The voyage begins with a push, and with each musical idea, or wave, the sky darkens. Rehearsal D marks the quiet before the storm, and with E the fury is in full effect. F marks a heroic attempt at survival, and spirals into the climax of the chaos. We awaken the next morning at rehearsal G, trumpetand horn now playing as one, with a beautiful sky above, having survived the storm. Or did we?
Also available in horn 12-tet version! (recording below)
3tp, 4hn, 3tb, 1eu, 1tu

Available through Veritas Musica Publishing

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