Helicon is a mountain range in Greece, and in Greek mythology, Mount Helicon was a favorite haunt of the Muses. Its eastern slope was particularly sacred, perhaps because it was one of the most fertile mountains in Greece. A helicon is also a brass instrument, (though shaped more like a sousaphone than a trumpet). Through both of these references—and the fact that the work is essentially about musical ascent—“The Ascent of Helicon” seemed an apt title for this piece. The work received its premiere at a conference of the International Trumpet Guild in 1988.