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Fanfare Overture for Orchestra

In April 1983, I received a phone call from Claude White, conductor of the band and orchestra at University of Pennsylvania who had recently premiered my SYMPHONY OF DELUSIONS with the Penn wind ensemble.

Claude had just arrived in South Carolina to prepare for the Spoleto Festival USA, where he'd be conducting the Spoleto Festival All-State Youth Orchestra in May, and he invited me to compose a short fanfare-like overture. A wonderful opportunity, except he needed the score and set of parts in 3 weeks.

I got right to work, combining a fanfare motive for the trumpets with a jazzrock groove accompaniment, developing the interplay between the squarish stop-time fanfare, and the forward-moving syncopated strings working like a "rhythm section."

The middle section of this A-B-A form is a big brass chorale with a driving beat, another interplay between the fanfare-like brass and the forward-driving other instruments. Actually this theme was taken from a rock song I'd recently written in conjunction with several 12-year-old poets as an enrichment project at Philadelphia's Greenfield School. The Spoleto Festival's youth orchestra enjoyed playing an orchestral setting of a song whose opening lyrics are "Lunch at school, it ain't so great, it's something you could really learn to hate."


last updated February 20, 2020