Educated at the University of Michigan, composer Frank Ticheli (b. 1958) has become one of the biggest names in new wind band repertoire.  Since 1991 he has been a Professor of Composition USC-Thornton and, until 1998, Composer in Residence of the Pacific Symphony.  The recipient of many awards, he was most recently winner of the 2006 NBA/William D. Revelli Memorial Band Composition Contest for his Symphony No. 2.

Ticheli’s own program note best describes his intent in writing Vesuvius:

Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed Pompeii in A.D. 79, is an icon of power and energy in this work.  Originally I had in mind a wild and passionate dance such as might have been performed at an ancient Roman Bacchanalia.  During the compositional process, I began to envision something more explosive and fiery.  With its driving rhythms, exotic modes, and quotations from the Dies Irae from the medieval Requiem Mass, it became evident that the Bacchanalia I was writing could represent a dance from the final days of the doomed city of Pompeii.

More info on Ticheli’s Vesuvius can be found here, at his publisher’s website.  This site is also home to a complete, downloadable set of mp3s of the vast majority of his large ensemble music – quite a find!

Frank Ticheli’s personal website, Frankticheli.com.

Ticheli bio on wikipedia.

Frank Ticheli’s Facebook fanclub.

A video interview with Ticheli in which he talks about composing.

An anonymous band plays Vesuvius:

Want to know more about Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius?  Check it out on wikipedia.