I am thrilled that next Tuesday evening, May 17, I have the privilege of hearing two incredible orchestras premier my pieces.
At around 7:15, Belle Isle Middle School will premier Classical Rag - it's a light-hearted, jazz-oriented piece. It's my first foray into this style and definitely not my last. In fact, I think working on this piece is going to inform all my future attempts. And the kids are absolutely NAILING it! They are so good. I can't believe it's an 8th grade orchestra. They can swing, baby! Thanks to Jeremy Scott!
Then, sometime around 8:00-8:30, the Edmond Memorial High School Philharmonic will premier Wovensong No. 2 "Dust Storm". It's a longer piece drawing inspiration from the Dust Bowl and how our predecessors dealt with this terrible time. It's a tribute to the power of nature and our responsibilities to care for each other and the natural world. And once again, the young men and women playing this piece are so in tune, and so vibrant in their playing. It's phenomenal! The choir sat in and listened to them play it yesterday, and it was truly inspiring to see how well they responded to the efforts of their musical colleagues. Thanks to David Koehn
I submit that there is NOTHING more essential in education than music and arts education. In these young orchestral players, I see personal discipline, the ability to work together and support each other, and the raw appreciation of beauty that is surely the very point of life. The quality of their education hinges on developing these qualities and carrying them forward past their graduation.
My personal heroes are the music directors, but to all who support student development in this way, I salute you in these challenging times. Let's all work together to make sure that no one takes away these vital opportunities from our kids ever again.