October 26, 2015
It is a humbling thing to hold a score in my hands for the first time. I know it sounds a little crazy but it is somewhat akin to holding our newborn daughter for the first time. I am filled with awe of the creation but also aware of the daunting responsibility of shepherding it forward. My job, as conductor, is to try and understand, through careful study, what the composer intended. As a mother I tried to honor my daughter’s a priori intent as a human being without imposing too much of myself. A lofty goal, indeed! The ironic thing is that you cannot possibly hope to give life to the composition unless you put your heart and soul into it.
On any given page there are hundreds of details to figure out – transpositions, harmonies, phrase structures, dynamic balances, articulation nuances, rhythmic intricacies. You tear it all down for your own understanding and then put it back together for the full effect. After all that, it really does become a part of you. So, when the time comes to lift the print off the page, you really hope you are honoring the composer’s truest “self.”
This concert is exciting because we will perform three pieces, all written within the last 10 years.
- Imagine If You Will …. by Timothy Mahr (professor of composition and band director at St. Olaf College)
- Grand Organ Concerto by Stephen Paulus
- Clarinet Concerto by Spanish composer, Oscar Navarro
All are accessible and thrilling to experience on both sides of the podium and if you ask, I’ll be happy to put any or all of the scores in your hands.