I just came up with a nickname for my Suite for Orchestra. And I finally figured out how it will finish! My colleague, conductor Sergio Castro Medina, commissioned me a piece for the 10th Anniversary of the student orchestra ”Sinfonia” here at the UDLAP. So far two movements have been written and are in rehearsal for their premiere this November 21.

I’m usually reluctant to talk about works in progress, but maybe someone will find this story a little bit interesting…

The first movement is a setting of William Blake’s poem “Ah! Sun-flower” (to be sung by our faculty soprano Brianna Winters and the second is a kind of fanfare which I’ve tentatively titled “Toccata.” I’ve been toying around with the third movement for some time, too, but I haven’t finished it because I wanted to see how the Suite would end first. And now I’ve figured out the work’s main focus!

Thanks to the recent political debates in the U.S., as well as the refugee crisis in Europe, I’ve been moved to set the poem ”The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus, whose lines include those inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty “Give me your tired, your poor, /Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,….”

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The orchestra at the UDLAP is made up of a hard-working, valiant group of students, and I hope we can hear the entire four-movement Suite late next Spring!

 

Suite for Orchestra (“Sweet Refuge”)

For soprano and orchestra (1,1,1,bass cl.,1,alto sax, tenor sax, 1,1,1,1, timp., 3 percussionists, guitar (acoustic and electric), keyboard, strings.

Four Movements

I. “Ah! Sun-flower”
II. Toccata
III. Adagio
IV. “The New Colossus”

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Score: coming soon (contact me here for more info)

Recording: coming soon.