Song for My Parents (Grade 4)
Song for My Parents was commissioned by the Ohio Music Education Association District 3 Honor Band and premiered by that ensemble on January 19, 2020. It is the third work in a collection of pieces that are all musically and personally related. The first piece, Song for Lyndsay, was composed in 2006 and the second, Song for My Children, was composed in 2013. All three works are bound together through a melodic idea that I originally wrote as an undergraduate student, a melody which has become very meaningful to me over the years and has always seemed to be the most appropriate way to express myself for these particular works.
In the case of this piece, there are further specific connections to my parents. The two solo voices that play a duet in the middle and end of the piece are horn and trombone, the two instruments my parents played when they were in school. This timbral concept is further reinforced in the opening chorale, which features the low brass as a section. The use of thunder drum in the percussion is a nod to my father's interest in making his own musical instruments, which have included several beautiful thunder drums over the years. Finally, there are two melodic ideas in the piano part near the middle of the piece which are quotes from small piano works that I composed when I was a child: Love Is... (which was a gift for my mom) and Pastorale (which was a gift for my dad).
More than anything, though, this piece is my meager attempt to honor my parents, Andrew and Lynne. Their love, support and encouragement made me who I am today and it is impossible for me to reflect through words my true feelings for them. They are truly important people in this world.....kind, compassionate, intelligent, curious, hard-working, thoughtful, and loving. They are one of those couples you see that are still walking hand-in-hand on the beach after well over fifty years of marriage. They are everything that I strive to be as a husband, parent, and human being. I love you, Mom and Dad.