Harvest Song (grade 5)
Harvest Song was commissioned by the students, faculty and alumni of The Ohio State University in conjunction with the Heisey Wind Ensemble and the Hilliard Bradley High School Band, and dedicated to their friend, mentor, and colleague, Dr. Russel C. Mikkelson, in honor of his 20thyear as Director of Bands at The Ohio State University. In considering how best to honor a man who has given so much to all of us throughout his career, I kept returning to the idea that a great deal of who Dr. Mikkelson is today is due in no small part to his upbringing on a farm in Wisconsin. The values of hard work, dedication, and care for others are such important elements of that life and, as someone who grew up in Iowa myself, I very much liked the idea of honoring the farmers of our great country. This piece is certainly intended to do just that, but as I considered it even more, it became apparent to me that Dr. Mikkelson is not so very different from a farmer himself. Throughout his wonderful career, he has planted the seeds of a devotion to music in his students, nurtured and cultivated their growth, and celebrated the time of harvest, when each student has left his care to share that same love of music with others in an ever-widening circle.