Appleton West High School Wind Ensemble director Mike Ross and Director of Choral Studies Kevin Meidl have commissioned me to compose a piece that will premiere on a concert with excerpts from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana arranged for wind ensemble and choir. I am composing an electro-acoustic piece for wind ensemble and choir that will feature audio-recorded discussions with a variety of teachers and educators. Similar to Carmina Burana, this music will aim to reveal aspects of an institution we may not fully understand. The goal of this piece is not only to demonstrate that education is hugely important, but more importantly that good education is impossible without dedicated educators and teachers. This commission will premiere May 2017. More details to come soon!
In addition to the compositional work on this project I have been reading about Carl Orff’s life. This research has been eye opening in the context of this presidential election. The political climate in the United States right now has been equated to that of 1930’s Germany with the rise of the Nazi Party. It is debated how involved Carl Orff was with the Third Reich. I am not saying any of this to condemn Carl Orff or his music, I believe in nuance. But it has made me reflect a lot on my role as a composer, and what my work can do for the world. More on that another time!
Thanks for reading!