Story by Brandon Adams
“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” – President George W. Bush
Grief, pain and sadness. Everyone who is old enough to remember the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, can remember where they were that day. I was very young at the time, but I remember watching my parents’ faces as they looked at the television set, confused and heartbroken. I cannot imagine what it would have been like to live in New York, Pennsylvania or Washington, D.C., as chaos ensued, smoke filled the air and hospital nurses scrambled to prepare emergency beds that were never filled.
For CSU Wind Symphony Director Rebecca Philips, this tragedy struck home. With many of her family members in the military, and her own personal military bands background, the attacks on Sept. 11 were very difficult to witness. A high school teacher at the time, she remembers clearly the reaction her students had as they watched the news coverage together: silence.
Since then, we have grown stronger as a country, uniting against the dark evil that is terrorism. Marking the 15th anniversary this year, Phillips calls it “a moment in history we need not ever forget.” That is why the Wind Symphony will be dedicating its first performance of the Fall 2016 semester, on Oct. 13, to those involved in the Sept. 11 tragedy. On that day, there were hundreds of emergency responders – firefighters, police officers, paramedics – that were called to the scene, and helped tirelessly. As a result of the attacks, our military stepped up in full force, and men and women put their lives on the line in combat to protect the freedom we value so dearly.
The music the Wind Symphony will be playing, which includes Hymn for the Lost and the Living by Eric Ewazen and In Wartime by David Del Tredici, depicts the solemn aftermath and the days leading up to the ensuing war. The focus of the performance will not be the tragedy, but instead will be a reflection on the men and women who helped in the days and months following. “We are looking at a major event in American history, and the heroic patriotic efforts from first responders and our military to help our nation heal,” said Phillips.
The performance demonstrates excellence on many levels, as the program features two works by Pulitzer Prize-winning composers. The students have also been working incredibly hard to make sure the music is at its absolute best. Senior Music Education major and principal alto sax player Junior Molina said, “It means a lot to express America’s mourning, and to be able to share a deep tribute, expressed through music.”
Jazz is an American-born genre that has brought happiness during so many national crises of the 20th and 21st centuries. CSU saxophone faculty member Peter Sommer joins the Wind Symphony during a performance of the consortium premier of William Bolcom’s jazzy Concerto for Soprano Saxophone.
For the Oct. 13 performance, the School of Music, Theatre and Dance is offering half-price tickets to all active and veteran military, police, fire, EMS and medical servants in the community. For additional information, contact Brandon Adams at (970) 491-5891. The concert will take place in the Griffin Concert Hall at the University Center for the Arts at 7:30 p.m.