Every End is a New Beginning (grade 3)
Every End is a New Beginning was commissioned by the Frontier Regional High School Band (Deerfield, MA) and their director, Karen Atherton, in memory of former band student Kathy Kruk and in celebration of Ms. Atherton’s retirement after 28 years as the head of the program. The piece was intended to serve not only as recognition of Ms. Atherton and Ms. Kruk, but also as a celebration for the future of the band program moving forward, hence the title of the piece. Because of this focus on the band itself, I chose to use the initials for the school as generative material for elements within the piece. Using FRHS as a musical cryptogram, the letters transform into the melodic motive FDAE, which I altered slightly to become F, Db, Ab, Eb. These four notes form the basis for the melody in the piece and are additionally used as the key areas for the four sections of the work and many of the vertical harmonies (a major chord with an added 9th).
Since Ms. Atherton’s instrument is trumpet, the piece begins with a solo trumpet presenting the melody over a soft percussion background. The work gradually builds in excitement and energy, much as the band program grew into a “family” under her leadership. After a climactic presentation of the melody, the final moments of the work include a return to the solo trumpet, now off-stage, as Ms. Atherton effectively leaves the program, before concluding with a celebratory statement in the band - the tradition of this band “family” will continue just as Ms. Atherton and Ms. Kruk would have wanted.
Every End is a New Beginning was premiered by the Frontier Regional High School Band on May 14, 2015.