Completed in early 2011, Mile Marker 78 was written for tuba player Stephen Kunzer, who currently serves as the adjuct Tuba/Euphonium instructor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. This piece was written in response to his father, who died tragically and suddently in a car accident just outside of Plains, Montana. The piece starts out in a peaceful mood, illustrating the loving relationship between Kunzer and his father. As the piece progresses, we start to hear the tension build, as if foreshadowing the tragic event to come. In the 5/8 section, the tempo picks up, and visions of a car driving down the deserted highway in the middle of the night come to mind. Ultimately, we hear the car screeching to its final demise in measure 164, just as the car reaches mile marker 78. The long melody played by the tuba at the end of the piece represents some of the emotions that Kunzer felt at the time that he lost his father. This piece was premiered in March, 2011 at the North America Saxophone Alliance Conference at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and has since been recorded by Mr. Kunzer.
Solo parts included: Soprano Saxophone, Tuba