Trey Tillotson is an American composer.
Trey Tillotson is an American composer and clarinetist. Born in 2002, Tillotson began freelancing in music in 2015. His performance experiences include performing solo, chamber, choral, wind band, and orchestral music.
Tillotson began composing music in 2013. Notable performances include a piece performed at the Pittsburgh Symphony Association Salon Event in June of 2019 by members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a premiered piece by the Pittsburgh Youth Concert Orchestra (PYCO) Chamber Woodwinds during the PYCO Gala Event in 2021, and a premiere by contemporary music group The _____ Experiment. In December 2022, Tillotson released his first album, a Christmas album entitled "Christmas Joy".
In 2023, he won his college’s concerto competition and the Ben Heppner Prize performing movements 1 and 3 from Geraldine Green’s Bass Clarinet Concerto. That year he was also named a Stella Russel Scholarship Winner, awarded to musicians with notable performance abilities. In 2021, Tillotson was a 3rd prize winner of the Franz Schubert Konservatorium 2nd World Championship of Composition Competition in Vienna, Austria.
As a performer, Tillotson is an advocate for new music. He has premiered over 20 works as a clarinetist, vocalist, and saxophonist.
In 2022, he was the archives intern with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In college, he has been the librarian, social chair, and chaplain for various ensembles.
Currently studying music composition at Wheaton College, Tillotson is a member of the Millennium Composers Initiative and New Music Chicago.
The Joy of a Carpenter
I was asked by Dr. Jerry Blackstone to write a solo clarinet piece for myself to premiere at Wheaton College’s 2023 Christmas Festival. “The Joy of a Carpenter” is a fun, light piece for clarinet that utilizes the instrument's heavy low and light upper ranges, making seemingly two separate lines.
This work looks more at Joseph in the Nativity scene: though he initially had concerns when finding out Mary was pregnant, he was obedient to God and married her after an angel appeared to him. Though there are notes that could suggest some of Joseph’s potential hesitancy, the piece is mostly upbeat and light, ultimately joyful.
Call and response is a unique social and physical concept. A musical call brings a different response. A bird calls to find its mate. A call in a void brings an echo with the same call. “Calls” explores these different kinds of calls. With performers staged physically distant from each other, they act as separate voices communicating to each other. The piece makes use of the “imperfections” in the performance by the nature of playing from a distance, as well as uses extended techniques such as microtonality, timbre trills, and glissing to foster this effect.
● Performers should be placed far away from each other.
● Exactly rhythms do not need to line up with each other, though players should try to
stay with each other as much as possible. There are areas throughout the piece to
get back with each other.
● There are no standard glissandi in this piece. All lines represent changing the pitch
primarily through bending the pitch via the lip. Fingerings can be used to better this
● Timbre trills should be done as best fits the individual’s clarinet.