Trunks (1983)

A Circus Story for Narrator and Orchestra
Text by the Composer after a short story by H.C. Bunner

Duration:  18 minutes
Narrator; 1+pic.221+cbn/4231/timp.3perc/
Piano reduction available for sale

Commissioned by The Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Meet the Composer/Orchestra Residency Program, 1983

Premiere Performance:  1984, Dallas Symphony Orchestra;
Melvin Baer, Narrator; Kirk Trevor, Conductor

Program Note:

Trunks is regularly performed on youth and family concerts by orchestras throughout the United States and Canada.  The score creates a circus atmosphere with integrated quotations of several well-known tunes (Entrance of the Gladiators, The Mexican Hat Dance, the “Can-Can” from Orpheus in the Underworld, and a theme from The Magic Flute) along with a variety of special brass effects and extended orchestral sounds, such as chains, sirens, broken dishes, whips, typewriters and crowd noises.  The work may be performed by either male or female narrator and in many different production settings ranging from fully staged, with mimes, dancers and slides, etc., to the traditional concert format.

Trunks is a story about a circus elephant named Xenobia, who becomes friendly with a little boy named David.  While Xenobia recovers from a collision with the fire-eater’s torch, David brings her special treats and they play trumpet duets.  When it comes time for the circus to leave town, she refuses to leave her special friend and runs away from the circus to find him.  At the end, after an adventure with some hot peppers, she returns, and David rides on her back in the grand finale circus parade.