Piece of the month

Each month we ask a musician to share a piece they love and tell us why

Reuben Rowlands
Reuben Rowlands

What piece have you chosen?

Children of Sanchez by Chuck Mangione

Why is it special for you?

This song was introduced to me by my music teacher in Ysgol Tryfan, my secondary school. I was a member of the jazz band there, playing tenor sax, and we had a big band arrangement of this song that I remember loving. Playing it was quite difficult but also exhilarating, and it was one of the first times I recall having that feeling of being in a large ensemble and it just connecting. So, it has some sentimental value to me, as well as being just a damn good song!

What should we listen out for?

The piece is relatively easy listening. The song starts with Don Potter singing the opening verses in AABA form over guitar. After that, you get hit with this thrashing, multi-layered drum part, the band comes in, trumpets like machine-gun fire, and then Chuck Mangione’s incredible command of the lyrical and colourful flugelhorn takes over.

This song was part of the Grammy-award winning score Chuck Mangione wrote for the 1978 drama film based on the book of the same name.

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Reuben Rowlands headshot

Reuben Rowlands

Reuben is a composer based in Manchester, having recently finished a master’s degree in composition, under Prof. Camden Reeves. He has gratefully had the opportunity to work with, and write for, professional and cutting-edge music ensembles, such as Quatuor Danel, Trio Atem, NoDice Collective, and members of Psappha New Music Ensemble. Other than composition, Reuben has recently co-founded a new music organisation, Vanguard New Music, which will feature projects designed to strengthen the bond between composers and performers, as well as innovate in the concert space.

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