Ides March was commissioned by William Brine in 1990, Bermel’s first commission. Brine requested that the work be a march suitable for performance at both a wedding and a funeral. Although originally titled Brine’s March, the patron rejected Bermel's piano reduction, perceiving the piece as "too dissonant". When the composer learned that the march was to receive its premiere on 15 March, he changed the title to Ides March in reference to the Shakespearean admonition about that date. The inspiration behind the minor-major key interplay of the work came from Cole Porter: " strange the change from major to minor." This line from the classic song "Every Time We Say Goodbye" captured the composer’s attempt to write a march that did justice to both the melancholy and triumphant. Ides March was premiered in 1995 by the University of Michigan Symphony Band, H. Robert Reynolds conducting.


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