John Cheetham (b. 1939)

Composer Information

John E. Cheetham, Professor Emeritus of Music Theory and Composition at the University of Missouri-Columbia, was born in Taos, New Mexico. During his tenure at Missouri from 1969 to 2000, he wrote compositions for virtually all media. He has composed more than sixty works for solo instruments, small ensembles, concert bands, orchestras and choruses that have been widely performed in the United States and abroad. He taught at University of Missouri until he retired in 2000 and still lives in Columbia with his wife, Marilyn, as he continues to compose, conduct, and occasionally perform in ensembles. 



Western International Music





Ranking Position



Brass Outings by Gaudete Brass Quintet: Gaudete Brass Quintet, 2007.

Strophes of the Night and Dawn by Florida State Brass Quintet: Crystal Records Inc., 1997.

Sketches of Brass by Quintetto Inflagranti: Recordjet, 2017.

Types of Instruments/Mutes

Standard instrumentation and no mutes required.

Final Considerations

Although this piece feature memorable melodies and straightforward rhythms, it will test an advanced high school brass quintet's ability for ensemble precision, tempo and musicality. Audience friendly and the western flavor helps the understanding of the piece.


Program notes by the composer: “The Scherzo is relatively short piece composed in 1963: a single movement for a brass quintet. Since it first appeared it has become one of the standard pieces in the repertory for brass quintet. As a mark of how the world and communications have changed since the Rite of Spring was premiered 99 years ago–and largely ignored until the ballet was re-staged in the 1920's–the Scherzo became an immediate success and is offered in a half-dozen amateur renditions on YouTube. It is in classical ABA (rondo) form, with a theme, variation, and restatement of the theme.”