ca. 6 minutes
This piece is dedicated to my middle school band director, Douglas Blackwell. Each day as we walked through his classroom’s doors, Mr. Blackwell greeted us with open arms. I recall him being always eager to teach, create music, and inspire our young minds to follow our dreams. I would not be the composer, or the man, that I am today without his valuable lessons. My favorite attribute of Mr. Blackwell’s conducting was his deep passion for making music, rather than just playing it. His compassion, discipline, and craft is what drove the Orchard Lake Middle School Band to sound better than some high school ensembles. It was an honor and privilege to work and learn from Mr. Blackwell. His lessons have forever shaped my life.
Mr. Blackwell, this is for you!
This piece, although delicate at times, exudes power and strength. Every moment of the performance should embrace the audience in the pushing and pulling of the rallentandos. The overall rubato and soloistic characteristics of the piece represent the various students of Mr. Blackwell’s class and the growth they experienced. The piece ends with a question, never finishing, but simply moving on.
A teacher knows that their students must leave someday. Unknowingly, they impact students’ lives through their teachings, personality, and friendship day after day, always to be remembered.
2017.05.23 | West Bloomfield High School Symphony Band, Christian Kolo, conductor
2017.05.23 | West Bloomfield High School, MI