Joseph Titterton Memorial Media

Joseph's Obituary

Enduring Strength

A musical tribute to Joseph Elliot Titterton composed by Peter Sciaino

Click the play button to hear the piece performed by the Trade Winds Wind Ensemble

"Enduring Strength" Program Notes by Peter Sciaino

Joseph Elliott Titterton was remarkable. With a heart large enough to match his stature, this kind, creative, and determined young man overcame physical setbacks (the result of a childhood stroke), to excel in life and touch the lives of many. He graduated from Whippany Park High School (NJ) as both an honor student and Eagle Scout and it was my pleasure to have shared music with him along the way. After completing a degree at Savannah College of Art and Design, getting his dream job in digital media, and buying his first house in South Carolina, a full and rich life lay ahead. Tragically, Joe was senselessly killed at the age of 24 in January 2018, only miles from his new home.

The opening melody played by the clarinets occurs throughout the piece set in various textures. At m.19 the obvious change in mood is meant to symbolize the events and initial aftermath of Joe's death. The confusion and anger that the Titterton family must have felt is beyond my understanding. I chose to keep this portion of the piece fairly brief as it doesn't capture Joe's full story. Positivity and strength dominate his personal narrative and it was clear to me where Joe had inherited his strength when I met with his mother Karen in planning his memorial. The solos that begin in measures 23 and 24 are written for horn, trombone, and tuba. Joe and his two siblings were in the band simultaneously; Jessica playing the horn, Michael the trombone, and Joe the tuba. These solos reference their close relationship. Toward the end of the selection the trumpet solo loosely quotes a melod segment from a song by the late English musician, Bert Jansch. I have wonderful memories of talking about music with Joe and he introduced me to Bert's music.

Max Lerner, a well known syndicated columnist, once wrote, "The turning point in the process of growing up is when you discover the core of strength within you that survives all hurt." For Joe, this turning point and the development of his courage happened early in life. At his Eagle Scout ceremony, Joe spoke of the pain he had overcome to reach the summit of a particularly challenging hike. It was his hope that he would serve as a "good and hardworking example" to his peers. The form of this selection is based on his journey. As the piece develops the melodic lines build momentum and fight through more complex harmonies to eventually arrive at an apex.

I hope this work is a worthy tribute to Joseph Titterton. May his family and friends inherit his enduring strength and find peace in the memory of his spirit.

About the Composer

Peter Sciaino (b.1975) is a passionate music educator and composer of spirited concert band music for all levels. He is published with Excelcia Music Publishing, C.L. Barnhouse Company, Wingert-Jones Publications and C. Alan Publications.

Peter holds a BM from Syracuse University in Music Education and an MA from New York University in Music Composition. An instrumental music teacher at Whippany Park High School (NJ) for over 20 years, he directs both the concert band and jazz ensemble while co-directing the marching band and teaching AP Music Theory.

Peter writes and arranges music for marching bands and jazz ensembles in addition to his work with symphonic groups. He also serves as a clinician and guest conductor and accepts commissions for original work. His professional affiliations include ASCAP, NAfME, and NJMEA. Peter resides in New Jersey with his wife, Beth, and two children, Phoebe and David.

Recorded professionally in the studio by the Trade Winds Wind Ensemble. This will be the recording that band directors around the world can listen to prior to ordering the piece to play with their own groups.

"Ceremony at Cedar Creek honors life cut short" - The Aiken Standard, June 23 2019