Friday, June 30, 2017

Heart of Fire Composer Visit

Today in Intermediate Concert Orchestra at Interlochen Summer Arts Camp, we welcomed composer, Lauren Bernofsky to our rehearsal. She is the composer of Heart of Fire, a string orchestra work that we are currently preparing for a performance on July 5  at Interlochen Kresge Auditorium. This 2012 publication is a wonderful string orchestra piece and we were thrilled to take advantage of the opportunity to have the composer join us for a rehearsal today.

The rehearsal began with opening remarks from Dr. Bernofsky. She told us about her educational background, how she became a composer, and the motivation behind this piece. It was commissioned by the Bennett's Mill Middle School, under the direction of Patti Davis, in Fayetteville, GA. It is published by FJH Music Company and is listed as a Grade III work. The inspiration for the piece was the basic style of  a Vivaldi Allegro and we also learned that there was a call for a featured cello solo.

Following her opening remarks, the orchestra played the piece for Bernofsky. We then proceeded to rehearse the piece with her comments as the centerpiece of the work for the day. We worked on the overarching style, balance of the ensemble, dynamics and dynamic contrasts, and a number of other important musical issues embedded in the work.

We finished the rehearsal with a brief Q&A session with the composer. As part of the time together we learned about the background of the title, how composer royalties work, publishing and copyright, and a number of other issues related to the profession of music composition.

In all, it was a wonderful 90 minutes of rehearsal and conversation. I firmly believe that all of the students left rehearsal with a new perspective on music composition and this piece specifically. I wish to thank Lauren Bernofsky for taking the time to come to our rehearsal and to share her insights with the ensemble. What a valuable day of rehearsal and music making it was! We have so many opportunities here at Interlochen for these types of interactions. Today was truly memorable!

Tomorrow, I will joining her composition classes here at the camp and sharing some of my perspectives as a string educator. I look forward to returning this favor and to a wonderful morning tomorrow.


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