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First Call was commissioned by Frank Hughes to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Toms River Municipal Band and the 45th year of his directorship of the ensemble. As if these numbers were not impressive enough, Frank’s association with the band goes back 60 years, all the way to the beginning, when as a high school student he joined the trumpet section of the then-new band.


I have been privileged to count Frank among my friends for many years now, and it has been a pleasure working with him on a number of commissions over the years, First Call being the most recent. The piece is based on the bugler’s “Call to the Post” heard at the beginning of every horse race. This is a fitting tribute to Frank as he is a member of the Bugler’s Hall of Fame, having sounded the call over 90,000(!) times over five decades. Additionally, Frank is a member of Taps Across America, an incredible organization of volunteer buglers who attend funerals of veterans to provide one final salute. My father was one such beneficiary of Frank’s generous spirit, something I will never forget.


First Call is about celebration, joy, running the race and savoring victory at the finish line - all of which apply to Frank’s remarkable journey with the Toms River Municipal Band.

FIRST CALL by Patrick J. Burns (Grade 4, 3:00)- Printed Score

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