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for string orchestra

The price of conflict surrounds us perpetually; it engulfs us. It is there when we drive past a cemetery, or when we read of a new terrorist attack, or when a rebellion against oppressors is suppressed, or when we remember a lost loved one and think of all the others who have lost loved ones. The bells ring out around us and remind us; they cry out in distress forewarning an attack or keen for the memory of events and people past. I write this now in Gettysburg where this truth rings out most forcefully. Surrounded by fields soaked in the blood of thousands where now stand statues and green grass over hills bruised by the brutality of the past, I know. I know that while these hills simply bare the fading bruises, others’ wounds are still raw- torn open and seared with hatred.

Terrorism, by its very nature, affects all of us, but we cannot lose sight of those who face its consequences most directly. The people whose lives are liquidated for that most gruesome currency of terror. The blight of extremism is the same that people have faced before. It is the dehumanization of people: the transformation of life into currency and fodder. We must acknowledge and celebrate the humanity of those who suffer the most.

This piece is of moderate-short length (ca. 6') and is intended for an advanced high school or college orchestra. Ranges of parts are limited and not technically difficult, but highly chromatic and rhythmically independent. There is also a short lyrical solo for 1st violin.

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