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The Steadfast Tin Soldier

The Steadfast Tin SoldierJason Brauer
00:00 / 10:08


Ballet for wind quintet, brass quintet, &
2 percussion

Fl./picc., ob., cl., hn. 1, bsn., 2 tpts. hn. 2, trb., tba.
Perc. 1 and 2 share glockenspiel, crotales (2 octaves), snare drum, mounted tambourine, & ratchet 
10 minutes



Year of composition

Program Note

“The Steadfast Tin Soldier” is a ballet retelling a classic fairytale that captivated (and traumatized) me in elementary school. The piece’s rough sonata form mirrors the action of the story—normalcy, an adventure abroad, and a return home. It opens with a primary theme featuring the brass and snare drum that depicts the soldier’s mechanical, ceaseless marching rounds; meanwhile, discordant woodwinds represent other toys jeering at him. The secondary theme belongs to the paper doll, whose grace is mimicked in upper woodwinds and sparkly percussion. When the soldier faces catastrophe, a stormy development accompanies his misadventures. As the soldier daydreams of the doll, the music settles on a third theme symbolizing their love, built out of fragments of both of their themes. Finally, the soldier’s return home marks the recapitulation, finishing in a heartwarming coda.

Performance History

The Steadfast Tin Soldier was premiered by Holly Venkitaswaran, flute/piccolo, Rebecca Keith, oboe, Maya Mueller, clarinet, Hunter Keeran and Demi Adetona, horns, Beck Rusley, bassoon, Olivia Achcet and Nicholas Van den Bogaerde, trumpets, Jonathan Salcedo, trombone, Daniel Dardon, tuba, and Sarang Shravan and Bill Zhang, percussion, with original art by Ivy Han; Vanderbilt University, November 2022.

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