Milestone is a concerto commissioned by Mark Wilkinson (with funds provided by the Arts Council England) to celebrate 21 years as Principal Cornet with Fodens Band. In three movements, the work is intended to not only demonstrate the soloist’s virtuosic skills, but also his ability to communicate to the audience.
The first movement, titled Milestone, combines sections of driving rhythms (intended to represent Mark’s years of continuing hard work), in the accompaniment with long legato phrases from the soloist interspersed with dexterous, virtuosic, passages.
The second movement, Song, features a simple chord sequence, over which the soloist “sings” a melody, each time varying and each time becoming more expressive, leading to an emotional climax.
The final movement, Twenty One, is a quasi-celebratory dance. Opening with the band clapping, the soloist weaves their way through the various textures in the band. Occasionally making both a musical and metaphorical nod to the industrious nature of the first movement, the chord sequence of the second movement also re-appears, before a brief coda takes us to the conclusion of the work.