Composed 2015 for Concert Band

The Rock was premiered on May 5, 2015 by the Fillmore Central High School Concert Band.

No piece of visual art has ever captivated me like Peter Blume’s The Rock. I first saw it as a freshman in college while on band tour to Chicago. We had a free day and several of my friends were headed to the Art Institute of Chicago, so I tagged along. We spent a few hours wandering the halls – I am not much of an art fan, so I generally looked, read the title and artist, and moved on through the galleries. When we got to the room housing The Rock, however, I simply sat and stared. There was so much happening in the painting and its vibrant colors had me locked in. It was strange for me, because I had never had a real connection with a painting before, though I had been to many museums and seen world-renowned artwork.

For the 2015 Symphonic Composition Project I decided to try something new and use The Rock as my inspiration. I dug through the students’ writings and found a couple that fit the themes of the painting. This work took much longer than the others – it was March before I had a final draft – but it was great for me to be able to share with my students how visual imagery can be used in music and to give the audience another layer for our performance.

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