STEINMETZ: ON MY WAY (2010) world premiere
Keene Chamber Orchestra
Eric Stumacher, Conductor
Keene (NH) All City Elementary Choir
May 8, 2011
The Colonial Theatre, Keene, NH/USA
Text by Eloise Greenfield
Commissioned by Sonad Project, Keene Elementary Choirs and Keene Chamber Orchestra
THE MISSION OF THE KEENE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA, founded by Eric Stumacher in 1990, is to provide rehearsals, performances, and recordings of orchestra repertoire at the highest artistic, expressive, and technical standard. KCO personnel combines Monadnock Region of New Hampshire and Greater New England resources ranging from professional musicians to skilled, talented, and enthusiastic student musicians of all ages. There is no age or background restriction. Our focuses are: love of music, craft, enthusiasm, constancy of commitment and effort, the highest possible artistic and technical excellence, and a desire to share the joy of orchestra music and the community it inspires.
The Orchestra will always strive to create an atmosphere of accessibility, warmth, challenge and encouragement for its participants, audience, and community, at the same time that it vigorously pursues artistic and technical excellence. Its musical approach ascribes to the values of chamber music, with special emphasis on specific listening, texture, blends of sound, phrasing, and expressive character.
The Orchestra is also strongly committed to instrumental instruction, music appreciation, scholarship, community development, and outreach chamber music and solo concerts.
We invite all who love vividly inspiring and expressive live orchestra music, and the powerful community energy it inspires, to join us in our pursuits.
ERIC STUMACHER, music director and conductor of the Keene Chamber Orchestra and founder and director of the Sonad Peace Project, sonadproject.org, has conducted concerts and performed concerti, solo recitals, and chamber music concerts worldwide to critical acclaim for over forty years. For thirty-five years, Eric served as founder, pianist, and executive and artistic director of the Apple Hill Chamber Players, Apple Hill, and the Apple Hill Playing for Peace Project, before resigning in October 2007 to establish the Sonad Peace Project. Eric is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and The Juilliard School. He resides in Nelson, NH with his wife Kathy, violist and administrator, and they have three amazing children and five astonishing grandchildren.
JOHN STEINMETZ, bassoonist, composer, and writer from Los Angeles, has participated in the Monadnock region's musical life for almost three decades. A frequent guest teacher and performer at Apple Hill summer sessions, where student and faculty groups often play his compositions, he has also toured with Apple Hill and with the Sonad Project. Two of his compositions have been premiered by the Keene Chamber Orchestra, a third was commissioned for the Apple Hill Chamber Players, and now On My Way has its premiere by the KCO and Keene Elementary Choirs.
John's compositions have been released on CDs from Albany, Helicon, Mark Masters, and Crystal. His articles about music, education, and technology have appeared in journals, magazines, and books, and his pamphlet for new listeners, "How to Enjoy a Live Concert," is published by Naxos and also available online.
John and his wife, violist Kazi Pitelka, live in Altadena, California. Both of their children have spent many happy summer days playing chamber music in New Hampshire. For more information, music excerpts, and articles, please visit johnsteinmetz.org.
MELANIE EVERARD, coordinator of the Steinmetz “On My Way” commission, is a music teacher specializing in Kodaly Philosophy at Franklin School in Keene. She is a graduate of Keene State College and the Kodaly Musical Training Institute, and studies piano with Eric Stumacher and harp with Mary Graham. She lives in Marlborough, NH with her husband Jim and their foster daughter Rebecca.
SPECIAL THANKS TO KEENE ELEMENTARY MUSIC TEACHERS Ellen Jahos (Jonathan Daniels), Peter Siegel (Symonds), Danielle Heeran (Fuller), Kathy Harvey (Wheelock), and Melanie Everard (Franklin).
Steinmetz “On My Way” (2010) – world premiere
Program Note by the Composer
Every culture has ways for its young people to find or choose a life path. In the US adults often ask children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This is a question about career, but it is also about interest, passion, love—about what makes the child feel most alive. In some cultures people believe that every person selects a life purpose before birth and then forgets it, so elders must help children rediscover their purpose. Whatever options are available and however people understand the process, individuals and communities share in choosing roles for everybody.
In On My Way three groups of singers portray different aspects of choosing a life path. The children’s choir sings with curiosity and a growing independence about the many paths in the world. Another group (I call it the Sayers) voices fears and concerns. The audience sings encouragement from family and community.
Like a person choosing, this piece benefited from the help of many people. Eric Stumacher encourages me to write music combining people who wouldn’t otherwise perform together. Melanie Everard suggested combining orchestra and children’s choir; she contributed fine ideas about its content and raised money to make it happen. Generous donors contributed toward the commission. Nancy Ancharski found just the right text and sought permission for us to use it. Eloise Greenfield wrote the words in her book For the Love of the Game: Michael Jordan and Me, and she generously consented to their use in this composition and in this performance. The children and adult performers and the behind-the-scenes organizers worked hard to make this music happen. I am grateful to have had so many enthusiastic collaborators.
TEXT FOR “ON MY WAY”
Adapted by Nancy Ancharski from Eloise Greenfield’s For the Love of the Game, and used with the gracious permission of the author.
Dedication: It is our fervent hope that this poem will inspire you to see your own strength, discover and develop your own talents and move always toward health and growth and happiness.
I rise in the morning and I greet the world.
I am here!
The sun has risen, but barely.
In the pale light
I see a world of many paths.
Partly hidden by trees
And shadows of trees.
Someday I will choose a path and go.
I hear the voices of naysayers – You can’t!
I hear the voices of doomsayers – Danger!
And I am afraid.
Under what tree lie the roots that will trip me?
In which shadows hide the holes that will swallow me?
Through the din of the naysayers and the doomsayers,
I hear the chanting of people who love me.
If you fall you will rise again and greet the world.
I breathe their words into my soul.
I feel the strength of my spirit.
If I fall I will rise again.
The sun is at midmorning.
The time to prepare is now.
I choose to choose the path that I will take.
I listen to my heart beating my rhythm.
I take my stance.
I make my move.
I am here.
I fly –
MISSION OF THE SONAD PROJECT
“Never doubt the power of a small group of dedicated, committed citizens to change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
The mission of the Sonad Project is to foster freedom and equality for all peoples through worldwide concerts and arts workshops which inspire profound connections across human divides.
“I destroy my enemies when I make them my friends.” Abraham Lincoln
The vision of the Sonad Project is to present concerts and create participatory arts and learning environments, open to all. This process inspires transformational personal connections that transcend political, economic, racial, cultural, ethnic, religious, gender, skill level, education, and generational boundaries.
Sonad aspires to make the experience of crossing human divides available to everyone, in a variety of disciplines, regardless of previous experience.
Sonad Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Eric Stumacher in November 2007, was incorporated in November, 2007 in California, with an office in New Hampshire.
Sonad activities in 2009 included two trips to Israel, Palestine/West Bank and environs, plus numerous events and activities in the US, including a nationwide NPR broadcast.
Sonad activities in 2010 and 2011 include concerts and workshops in Israel, Palestine/West Bank, Jordan, New Hampshire, California, and other US and international locales.
KEENE CHAMBER ORCHESTRA PERSONNEL
Ian MacKay, concertmaster
Sandy Van de Kauter
KEENE ELEMENTARY ALL CITY CHOIR
The Keene Chamber Orchestra and the Sonad Project are grateful to the members of the Keene Elementary All-City Choir, and their families, for their dedication, beautiful spirit, and energy. The chorus members are performing this work as their gift of inspiration to the children of Israel, West Bank/Palestine, Jordan, South Africa, and Northern Ireland, where initiatives for performing “On My Way” are in process, and to all the children of the world.
MAY WE ALL BE INSPIRED TO "CHOOSE OUR PATH" TO DO OUR PART TO HEAL OURSELVES, OUR SPECIES, AND OUR PLANET.
JONATHAN DANIELS SCHOOL
Aarti Arasada, Logan Thatcher, Mallory Sherlock, Amanda Rogers, Mikayla Mousseau, Ana Ganley, Zander Mitchell, Julia Ditri, Tiana Scott, Natalie Bastille, Brenton Crockett, Colin Lothrop, Arianna Santos, Naomi Dawson, Jake Blaisdell, Aaron Tullar, Samantha Paltrineri, Janille Venne, Zoey Luopa, Liam Snowden, Claudia Jeffers, Frankie Feola-Maher, Charlene Strobel, Sarah Hildreth, Ariyanah Lucius, Zine Akgul, Marisa Mullins, Kaylee Marshall, Tiana Messer, Katie Clark, Elizabeth Squires, Briana Fonda, Nicole Perra, Emily Huston, Marcus Marden, Rebecca Webb, Mariah Martin, Ryan Hamel, Jacob Stewart, Jordyn Pendilla, Samantha Anger, Elizabeth Peate
Natalie Mills, Noaf Breen, Keighly Urban, Walker Sorenson, Ryan Urban, Kyler Gleason, Gabriella Maragh, Ruth Clark, Damian Hiscox-Mitchell,Anne Lochard, Sara Corrieri, Johnny Zeng, Caleb Stemp, Aidan Flower Desjardins, Emilee Messer, Maya Gempler, Rebekah Sheridan Gasaway, Angel Doty, Ananda Montoloy, Anthony Morris, Angelina Snegach, Harrison Hicks, Sarah May, Jaklynn White, Julia Kiburis, Nate Evans, Noah Maragh, Kaily Russell, Sam Hoffman, Ariana DiBenedetto, Jackie Richter, Nickeya Nickerson, Muhammad Shahab, Chloe Lamothe, Sky Fletcher, Shauna Foley, Anson Zheng, Frankie Carpenter, Jonathan Marsh, Kyle Trombley
Paeton Ward, Lauren Priest, Spencer Pitts, Maggie Heneghan, Kate Masiello, Olivia Targett, Emily Ford, Thomas Pitts, Jacqueline Perry, Andrea Thisner, Rachel Shepard, Caron O'Neil, Sunshine Ainsworth, Isaac Sylvern, Madelaine Phaneuf, Adam Minahan,Lily Bond, Jon Moody, Cecilia Cormier, Hannah Drew, Hailey Sevene, Nichole Forgues, Nathan Chadwick, Lillian Perham, Chloe Leach, Elizabeth Everitt, Rachael Trubiano, Andrea Tomer, Kaitlyn Munroe, Arianna Miller, Allison Monacelli, Emma Charles, Antonio Guatieri, Kassidy Dufour, Vanessa Adair, Hyo-Hyang Carty, Alison Wright,Jayna Leach, Madison Tremblay
KEENE MIDDLE SCHOOL
Zosha Silverstein-Belden, Rachel Squires, Emma Hoffman
SURRY CHARTER SCHOOL
Kaila Souza, Natalia Chiume, Lauren Emineth, Ali Down, May Minard, Leean Minard, Francie Huntley
Darian Myers, Paige Bailey, Alyssa Barlet, Colby Beliveau, Christopher Billings, Lyza Bobka, Jackie Campbell, Jordan Cargill, Dayla Carpenter, Elena Carreras, Kelly Chapdelaine, Matthew Colman, Emily Coppola, Anthony Courtemonche, Avery Dellogano, Elizabeth Flanders, Tayler Haefer, Megan Healy, Jaden Frye, Nina King, Elizabeth Laclair, Emily Lake, Audri Laverture, Maddy Leonard, Sophie MacDonald, Rylee Moxham, Janeesha Patel, Kayla Rmsey-Marsh, Morgan Riley, Sarah Stillings, Jackson Stone, Caitlin Swiger, Colton Sy, Lily Tucker, Noah Weston, Natalie Wood
Momina Ali, Jake Benouski, Jack Beauregard, Cullen Costa, Faith Carlson, Lara Guthrie, Althea Champion, Sheila Hardy, Ashley Cushman, Zoe Hope, Elijah Griffeths, Courtney Jenks, Mason Illies, Emelia Washer, Shelby Isabelle, Frannie Cooke, Michael LaFountaiin Evan Dowd, Ryleigh Lane, Spencer Hokanson, Lila Masterson, Marisa Mackenzie, Olivia Payne, Casey Schmidl-Gagne, Jordan Poisson, Rachel Scott, Dakota Rosa, Sara Sears, Damien Winslow, Jamie Therrien, Teddy Lydon, Brandon Lydon
SPECIAL THANKS TO "ON MY WAY"
Emmett and Elizabeth Shutts
Jane and Peter Beauregard
Congregation Ahavas Achim
Ginnie and Ira Gavrin
Deb and Ron Kilyanczik