Compositions and Commissions

Drawing upon a wealth of experience composing or arranging music for venues from orchestra to marching band, pop, and jazz ensembles, David's compositional approach incorporates the sensibilities of a performer that seeks a connection with their audience. Years of performing in professional and award-winning collegiate big bands have cultivated his passion for creating dynamic music that is exciting, unpredictable, and fun to play.

David works closely with directors and students during commissions to discover their musical personalities and preferences. The below titles are compositions for jazz ensemble that span a wide range of styles and orchestrations and currently being featured for purchase. 

Please contact David here for more information and to order titles.

High School or Advanced Middle School Charts:

Big Heart Lament

Commissioned by the Clint Small Middle School Jazz Band (Austin, TX), Big Heart Lament is a ballad feature for trombone 1 that includes a hard swinging double-time solo section for alto saxophone, trumpet, and trombone. Plunger mutes included for the brass. Lead trumpet: Written Bb. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium.


Inspired by the harmonic and rhythmic elements heard in the music of Thelonious Monk, Hooked features the saxophone section while the brass sections prod and propel with straight-eighth passages that make it fun for both performers and audiences alike. Ideal for beginning/intermediate bands, solo sections are accessible for young improvisers, written for tenor 1 and trumpet 2, with chord changes included on all parts and optional repeats for additional soloists. Trumpet 1 to written C above the staff. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium.

Jazz Mind

Commission by the Palm Desert High School Jazz Band (Palm Desert, TX), the title, Jazz Mind, refers to the thought process of the jazz musician who is intently focused and yet easily distracted to new ideas. This dichotomy is represented in Jazz Mind by a lighthearted 'A' section melody accompanied by a Songo groove in the rhythm section. The melody is later contrasted with a different mood and with an alternate swing-section melody at the bridge. Solo sections for Alto 1 and Trumpet 2 (optional open sections.) Notated rhythm section parts and solo sheets provided for additional soloists. Lead trumpet: Written D. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium.

Punch Took A Leap

Commissioned by the McCallum Fine Arts High School Jazz Band (Austin, TX), Punch Took A Leap, brings a harmonically and rhythmically fresh sound to literature that is specifically written for a high school level ensemble. Ideal for intermediate ensembles, this composition is based on a traditional thirty-two measure AABA form the features the saxophone section. It also includes exciting interludes between formal sections over pedal points. A rare find, it is both fun and challenging for students to play, while still serving as an excellent teaching vehicle for a multitude of stylistic techniques. Written solo and chord changes for alto saxophone 1 provided.  Lead trumpet: Written D. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium.

College or Professional Charts:


Beachside, title track from one of David's small group jazz quartet recordings, is arranged here for big band and alternates between swing and Latin sections. Tenor saxophone 1 is the featured soloist, along with an extended shout section with angular figures in the saxophone section.  Lead trumpet: Written E. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium-Advanced.

Hidden Intentions

Hidden Intentions is centered around a sinuous melody meant to capture that moment we've all had when someone is being kind for no reason at all and then asks for a favor. This piece features both straight eighth note and swing sections and solos for trombone and vibes (or piano). Alto saxophone doubles on soprano, trumpets on flugel. Lead trumpet: Written C#. 5, 4, 4, V, P, B, D. Medium.


One of the winning compositions from the 2005 ASCAP Foundation Young Jazz Composer Awards competition, Hike!!! was premiered at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Hague. Exciting meter changes and clever harmonic activity make this piece an excellent concert opener or closer. Based in part on a modified blues structure that traverses through several distinct interludes and formal settings, Hike!!! is an adventure for the serious jazz ensemble. Solo space provided for trumpet, alto, and tenor saxophone. Trumpet section-harmon mutes, alto 1-flute. Lead Trumpet: Written G. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Difficult level.

L'homme armé, Part I Awakening

This is the first of three compositions that are based on the nearly 550 year old melody entitled L'homme arme (The Armed Man). This collection incorporates compositional techniques from renaissance composers with a contemporary jazz approach. Each part functions as an independent composition and unfolds in different time feels and styles. Part I begins as a duet for soprano saxophone and piano playing the main theme. They are shortly joined by the drummer using his hands across the drum set in a bolero style. Subsequent themes follow and traverse through several time feels and signatures. The main themes for this movement are first heard in the slower bolero time feel and are recaptured in various rhythmic settings at a quicker tempo. Solo sections included are for soprano saxophone and trombone. Doubles: alto 1 on soprano, alto 2 on flute, tenor 1 on clarinet, baritone saxophone on bass clarinet, trumpets 1-4 on flugelhorns. Lead Trumpet: Written D. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Difficult level.

L'homme armé, Part II Voyage

Part II is a medium-swing composition in 3/4 that features a linear melody across each section of the ensemble. The trumpet section doubles on flugelhorns and provides subdued orchestrations throughout that strengthen the relaxed feel of the chart. Piano and trumpet solos are featured over the form. Doubles: trumpets 1-4 on flugel horns. Lead Trumpet: Written A#. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium-Advanced.

L'homme armé, Part III Resurgence

Part III is a high-impact feature of the L'homme arme melody set in various orchestrations. An up-tempo closer in 3/4, a drum solo begins this part accompanied by an ostinato bass line. The energy stays high throughout while the melody travels across each section of the ensemble. Interspersed with various interludes and background figures, solos are included for trumpet and tenor saxophone and are followed by an open drum solo before a climatic return to the melody and conclusion. Lead Trumpet: Written D. 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Difficult level.

Not Soft Enough

This song title goes out to everyone who has been in one of those loud rehearsals that when it comes time to back off dynamically and enjoy the quieter side of things, we just can't seem to play soft enough. Not Soft Enough is not meant to be played softly, and is an aggressive Latin tune containing rhythmic interplay between melodies, background figures, and soloists (tenor 1, trumpet 2). Lead trumpet: Written D#: 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium-Advanced.


The Hang

An up-tempo opener or closer that alternates between swing and latin, The Hang, features a driving post-bop melody for the saxophone section. The trumpet section also shares the melody and combined with the trombone section, provides powerful accents and unison figures that propel the energy forward throughout. Solo sections feature a soprano solo over the form and an open tenor solo accompanied by an Afro-Cuban groove in the rhythm section that allows for harmonic and rhythmic interplay. Doubles: alto 1 - soprano. Lead trumpet: Written Eb: 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium-Advanced.

Winding Rose

Winding Rose is an exhilarating composition that consists of clever melodies and an imaginative rhythmic treatment. Comprised of several tempo an meter changes, this piece begins with a slow introduction in 4/4 before evolving into 11/4. Exciting rhythms for full band, lyrical melodies for horn trio and two contrasting solo sections for trumpet (11/4) and tenor saxophone (4/4) make this work a must for any serious jazz ensemble. Alto 1-alto sax and flute, Alto 2-alto and soprano sax; trumpet 2-trpt and flugel, trumpet 2-trpt and flugel, trumpet 3-trpt and fulge, harmon mute, trumpet 4-trpt and fluge, harmon mute. Lead trumpet: Written D#: 5, 4, 4, P, B, D. Medium-Advanced.Difficult level.