'Seasons', 'A Symphony for Brass Quintet', was composed during the summer of 1986. It was written specifically for the Wisconsin Brass Quintet, of which John Stevens is a member. The composition of this work was funded by a grant from the University of Wisconsin Graduate School. The work was premiered in the spring of 1987 by the Wisconsin Brass Quintet and has since been performed extensively by many groups, particularly in America. The title and the musical flavor of the movements were inspired by the changes of seasons in the northern climes of the United States. John Stevens returned to the north country (having grown up in New York) after living in Florida for 4 years. His return to the seasonal changes in Wisconsin moved him to compose a work that would reflect his feelings about each season. The music is programmatic in that the most important compositional aspect of the work is the creation of the seasonal mood in each movement. Spring is a time of new beginnings; of growth and warmth returning. Each instrument has a chance to 'blossom' in this opening movement. Summer is a joyous dance of great speed and agility - the music is, except for a short section in the middle reminding us of the stifling summer heat, a celebration of the activity and 'outdoor' nature of the season. Autumn is the most beautiful of the seasons, with it's cool days and gorgeous colors. There is also a melancholy atmosphere to the music, forewarning the coming of winter. Winter can be many things, but in this work John Stevens chose to portray the violent, cold, cracking, stark nature of the Wisconsin winters. This finale movement returns at the end to the music of Spring, completing the year's cycle to conclude the piece. 'Seasons' is subtitled 'A Symphony for Brass Quintet' because the nature of the movements - long opening movement, scherzo, slow movement and finale - parallels that of the classic symphony.