Give Her Music- Score + Parts
Give Her Music- Score + Parts
For Symphony Orchestra & SATB Choir
Instrumentation: Piccolo, 2 Flutes, 2 Oboes, 2 Clarinets, 2 Bassoons, 8 Horns, 4 Trumpets, 2 Trombones, 2 Bass Trombones, Tuba, Timpani, Cymbals, Bass Drum, Tam Tam, Glockenspiel, Piano/Celesta, Vibraphone, Xylophone, 2 Harps, SATB Chorus, Strings
Duration: approx. 20:00
Give Her Music is a work written specifically for the Fort Worth Youth Orchestra. I was first asked to write this piece back in May 2016 with very little information on orchestration. A few weeks later, I got news that there was the possibility of adding a choir and the project immediately became a dream piece for me! I grew up singing in choirs my entire life and writing a stand-alone piece for choir and orchestra had always been one of my compositional goals. My love for the choral repertoire really drove me for the first couple of months. I spent several hours at the Harold Washington Library in Chicago studying the works of Verdi, Orff, Mozart, Faure, and Brahms. Hearing and analyzing these masterpieces gave me a closer look at how important the text was in each one.
The text for the piece tonight is taken from the poem "Little Egypt" by Robert Francis Barminski. Robert wrote an exquisite and beautiful poem depicting the life and experiences his mother, Willa, faced growing up in the mid west. Willa grew up in a coal mining town and it was music that helped to lift her life out of poverty and to inspire others. To this day, she is very passionate about the power of music to transform lives.
With the help of Robert's sister, Mary, we agreed on a couple of excerpts from the poem to finalize the text for the choir to sing.
The first movement opens with a joyful and uplifting introduction that depicts the exciting and audible power of the orchestra. The choir comes in with the opening words and title of the piece, "Give Her Music." The entire first half of this movement is about the gift of music. The B section of this movement describes a band marching down the streets of the town, and the sounds of the piccolo soaring above everyone. This movement introduces the main theme that will cycle and come back in the following movements.
The second movement opens with a brass chorale. For this being a piece about a small town, I wanted to emulate the sounds of an organ being heard through the windows of a church. This movement talks of the beauties and power that music has to save souls. The movement is slow and beautiful in nature to mirror the warm colors of the text.
The last movement opens with a powerful orchestral fanfare that builds to an energetic and sprightly violin line that eventually has the entire string section playing like a motor. The energetic and uplifting nature of this movement drives the piece to its conclusion and ends with the same statement made in the closing of the first movement, "give her music!"