I am really excited to be conducting the world premier of a new work for orchestra this week. It is The Awakening, by Todd Goodman. This week I will be working with the top orchestra students in Western Pennsylvania as conductor of the PMEA Western Regional Orchestra. I am particularly looking forward to this one because my sister, Stephanie Everett (Hollidaysburg High School) is co-hosting along with Kelly Detwiler (Altoona High School), and my other sister, Julianne Laird (Indiana (PA) High School), has students participating and will be there as well. It is always a pleasure and honor to work with PMEA groups, but the family connection and the world premier makes it even more meaningful.
I liked this work from the first time I set eyes on the score and heard the (albeit synthetic) recording straight from the the notation software. There are magnificent sounds throughout and much for the orchestra (and conductor) to consider in preparing the piece. Based on a 3-chord progression that eventually morphs in to a 4-note motif, the piece provides ample material for every section and is sure to be an audience favorite. It follows an A-B-A'-B' form and features an unexpected ending. It is always so exciting to program new music and discover my unique take on a work before anyone else has the opportunity. I so look forward to sharing that sense of discovery with the students this weekend. I have quickly become a fan of Todd Goodman's and I am pleased that he will be at the event this weekend to speak with the students and that I will have a chance to interact with the composer.
Goodman is no stranger to writing for this group. The same event in 2018 featured another commission composed by Goodman entitled "The Precipice."
Other works programmed for this weekend include:
The Cowboys Overture, John Williams
March to the Scaffold, Berlioz
Sinfonia No 2 in D Major, Mvt I, Mendelssohn
Matinees Musicales: Second Suite of Five Movements from Rossini, Benjamin Britten
The liner notes are as follows:
"The Awakening is an orchestral tone poem commissioned by Kelly Detwiler and Stephanie Everett, hosts of the 2019 Western Region Orchestra of the Pennsylvania Music Educators’ Association.
When we set out to solve a difficult problem, we often go through a process of trial and error, which yields numerous moments of doubt. Although these moments can be quiet difficult, they can produce some of our most creative and productive work. As we work through our numerous solutions and
filter out the bad ideas, a wonderful moment happens in the process— when we realize that what we have created actually works. This piece is about that journey.
The Awakening is scored for piccolo, 2 flutes, 2 oboes, 2 bassoons, 4 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, tuba, timpani, 3 percussionists, harp, piano, and strings."
This work lasts approximately five minutes.
For information about the composer and his other works,
please visit www.WrongNoteMedia.com.
2 clarinets in bi
4 horns in f
glockenspiel, claves, marimba, H/L toms
vibraphone, suspended cymbal
tamborine, bass drum