This is Our Joyful Hour
Utah Wind Symphony, Salt Lake City, UT Scott Hagen conductor
Vermont District III Festival Wind Ensemble, Burlington, VT Matthew Marsit conductor
Heildeburg University Youth Wind Ensemble, Tiffin, OH Elizabeth Tracy conductor
The Wheaton North High School Wind Ensemble, Wheaton, IL Kent Krause, conductor
The Cleveland Youth Wind Symphony, Brecksville, OH Dr. Gary Cieluch conductor
Case Symphonic Winds, Maltz Perfroming Arts Center, Cleveland, OH, Elizabeth Tracy conductor
We cannot control everything that happens to us.
Life is a mixture of the good and the bad, the beautiful and the painful, the tragic and the life-giving all in one, it cannot be separated and we do not get to choose. We must never forget that we have the power to create, that no matter what storms may be raging around us we always have the power to choose the good and that by making that choice we choose to create, to make the world more of what it was intended to be.
This music grew out of a desire to make the choice for the good in the face of a very bad personal situation and the belief that when we come together as performer and as listener we actively participate in the recreation of that good. The title references the fact that we, here and now, can make that choice. I hope that it brings strength to every performer and listener.
I believe that I was meant to prepare this piece for its premiere and I am honored to be a part of its story. It will always be part of my story and I do believe that it saved my life. The semester that I prepared this piece for the Case Western Reserve University bands, my husband and I were mourning the loss of our first child to miscarriage. I remember sitting down to talk about the piece with Kevin and hearing him tell me the story of when and why he decided to write it. At the end of his story, he said, “This is what we can do,” and he was right.
We do not get to choose the challenges that we will face in the world, but when the unimaginable happens, we do get to choose how we react and what we do next. We can remain broken or we can begin to heal. We can despair or we can create. We can share the joy of making something that did not exist but for our efforts and reach out to each other, knowing we are not alone.