In the middle years of the 20th century, legendary Mexican trumpet virtuoso Rafael Méndez (1906-1981) presented hundreds of trumpet trio concerts across the United States with his two sons, Rafael Jr. and Robert.

‘Méndez’ seeks to evoke the atmosphere of those performances and the spirit of the times. It uses as its inspiration five motifs taken from one of the lightest of the Méndez trios, The Brave Matador. To these are added the kind of flourishes that feature in many Méndez compositions and that for many listeners characterise the folk music of Mexico.

In addition to the regular wind ensemble, three trumpeters are positioned offstage, suggesting the presence of the Méndez Trio.

This material is embedded in a 12 note theme (Ab Bb Db Gb D Eb E F G C B A) that in addition to providing significant melodic material, lends the overture a cohesive structure.

This wind ensemble version of Méndez was commissioned by John Carmichael and the University of South Florida Wind Ensemble. The original brass ensemble version was commissioned by David Hickman and Summit Brass.

‘Méndez’ is published by Murphy Music Press where you can view the score and hear a recording: Jerry Junkin directing the University of Texas Wind Ensemble.


1 Piccolo, 3 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 1 Cor Anglais,
3 Clarinets in Bb, 1 Bass Clarinet, 1 Contrabass Clarinet,
2 Alto Saxophones, 1 Tenor Saxophone, 1 Baritone Saxophone,
2 Bassoons

6 Trumpets: 3 on stage – in C (#1-3),
3 off stage – #4 Piccolo in Bb, #5-6 in C, #5 alt. Piccolo in Bb
4 Horns in F, 2 Trombones, 1 Bass Trombone,
1 Euphonium, 1 Tuba

1 Double Bass

1 Timpanist,
4 Percussionists:
#1: Maracas, Glockenspiel, Triangle, Tamtam, Tambourine, Xylophone,
Sand Blocks
#2: Marimba – 5 8ve., shared, Vibraphone, Crash Cymbals, Whistle,
Highest Wood Block, Mid-low Wood Block, Cowbell
#3: Marimba – 5 8ve., shared, Crash Cymbals, Wind Chimes
#4: Tambourine, Snare Drum, Suspended Cymbal, Whip