On Winter Hill

Euphonium Solo with Brass Band or Concert Band

Winter Hill is situated in the North West of England within the West Pennine Moors.  It is a popular destination for walkers and on a clear day it offers views across Manchester, Liverpool, Blackpool, the Isle of Man, the Cumbrian Mountains and the Peak District.  The hill is well named as there is an ever-present blusteriness even during the summer. 

On Winter Hill is an evocative concert item for solo euphonium and brass band which tells the story of a journey, in music, to the summit of the hill.  

The work was commissioned by internationally renowned euphonium virtuoso, David Childs and was premiered by David and the Enfield Citadel Band at St John's Smith Square, London on 19th October 2012.

The work opens with a quiet ostinato on solo cornets (clarinets) which is a musical interpretation of the swirling wind dancing around the peak of the summit.  The wind is ever present on the hill and so is the ostinato building in volume and intensity as the journey progresses.  The solo line uses modal writing and is fashioned as a ‘folksong without words’ and gives work a feeling of melancholy and of ‘days gone by’.  Perhaps the listener can imagine looking out from the side of the hill across the valley towards the now silent chimneys of industry. 

The summit of the hill is finally reached six bars before Figure G, which is the moment you walk into the wall of wind and sound that takes your breath away for a moment, but gives you an immense sense of achievement.  The music here is full and rich and gives the soloist a moment to catch their breath.  The work closes at the start of the descent from that moment you step off the peak of the hill and you are already back in a different world.


Dificulty: Moderately Easy (Intermediate solo part)

Duration: 00:04:00

Available from

With Brass Band: Prima Vista Musikk Ltd

with Concert Band: Prima Vista Musikk Ltd