For string orchestra

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SKU: Together Categories: ,


for string orchestra
Commissioned by Applause, Lake Forest High School Music Patrons, for the
LFHS Symphony strings; Robert Bassill, director.
Duration: 5 minutes
Program notes:

This is my second time having been engaged by the Robert Bassill, director of the LFHS string orchestra, and Applause, to compose a new work for their student orchestra. I am deeply grateful to them for their support of a local composer, and for their commitment to exposing the students to living composers.

For this work, Together, I wanted to write something where the sum of the parts equals a whole. To me, this is what it means to play in an ensemble of any sort, or to play a team sport, or to be in a club, in a drama/film production, on a tech crew, or on a debate team, etc. These are all examples of activities that are available in high school (and moving forward, in life), and I think an important reminder for us all.

Therefore, Together begins with each section taking their turn playing a phrase in unison – together – where even though they are all playing the same notes, it takes a team effort to make it sound as one. Each section gets a phrase, and then they have to hand it off to the next. After
this opening section, a rhythmical, upbeat, and tuneful section emerges, where each section — each player — is held responsible, for upholding their integral roles. Whether it be a melody, important rhythmical pulsing, or a bass line, the success of the team cannot happen without
the practiced and executed contribution of each player.

The opening phrases eventually return (at letter H), but now they are all played simultaneously, proving once again that when all sections perform their parts together, the entire team (or company) can succeed. The uptempo section return, and brings Together to a rousing finish.

Thank you, again, to Robert Bassill, and to Applause and Lake Forest High School, for having me compose this work. It is a joy to work with you and your students.

Jim Stephenson; July 8, 2018

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