Cornet solos are an important part of the American Brass tradition. The Southern Cross is one of Clarke's most well known Cornet solos and was written in 1911, dedicated "to the Australians" and first recorded by the composer with Orchestra the next year for Victor Records.
During 1911, Clarke was the solo Cornetist of the Sousa Band while the band was on a world tour that included visits to South Africa, Tazmania and Australia from March through to August.
Below is a photo of the Sousa band from their 1911 tour. Clarke is sitting in the front row 5th in from the right with his moustache and his Cornet on his lap. He assuredly composed this solo to perform on that tour. The Southern Cross is a constellation that is only seen from the southern hemisphere and features the five stars of the "Cross" from the 1901 design of the Australian flag.
This 5-minute virtuosic arrangement by Geoffrey Bergler features not only a single soloist, but all members of the Brass Quintet as can be heard in the sound track below.
Instrumentation is for:
2 Trumpets in B-flat (Trumpet 2 also plays Piccolo)
The sound track below is a recital performance from Mr. Bergler's days at the Juilliard School.Free pdf Sample