During the writing of this composition, I was saddened to learn of the untimely and tragic passing of one of the participants, Kelly G. Thomas, tuba professor at the the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Therefore this composition is dedicated to the consortium and is written in memory of Kelly G. Thomas.
The idea behind Emoticons is to symbolically represent emotions. The first movement was to be Jealousy, but once the movement was completed, Bravura seemed to fit it better. What was to be a movement where each instrument tried to outdo the others turned into a dazzling display of self-confidence. The movement opens with a statement of self-confidence by the entire quartet that is interrupted by tubas then the euphoniums each showing their strength. The section at measure 23 has each of the euphoniums playing "bravura" lines over a staccato tuba accompaniment. The section at 35 reverses the roles and the two tuba parts are in canon. A dotted eighth and sixteenth note pyramid figure is introduced at measure 31 and becomes an important part of the movement. It is as if each instrument was saying "here I am." The movement continues to develop using these ideas and variations of these ideas and somewhat resembles an arch form.