Composer John Stevens (b. 1951) is on the faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he teaches tuba and euphonium.  He is renowned for his series of tuba-euphonium quartets.  Benediction began life as one of these.  It was comissioned by the Sotto Voce Quartet in 2002 for inclusion on their recording of Stevens’s quartet ouvre.  The composer created this version for wind band with the encouragement of Scott Teeple, director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Benediction is a lyrical piece, intended as a vocal, sonorous contrast to his more lively quartets.

Program note on Benediction.

The original version of Benediction:

Version for euphonium and organ:

Wind band version: