By the Hands That Reach Us
for Wind Symphony
(see perusal score below for instrumentation or click here)
Duration: ca. 8:40
By the Hands That Reach Us is based on two main themes. The first is an uplifting and almost heroic melody in the major key (first played by the euphonium at m. 28). The second theme, in the minor key, is quite the opposite in character (first played by the trumpets at m. 78). The pivotal moment of the piece comes when the two themes come together and exchange in a dialogue (mm.98-108). Instead of the "bad" theme being “defeated,” it is instead transformed to the major key with encouragement from the "good" theme. At its core, the second melody is the same, but has now become a more positive version of itself as a result of the influence from the first. While the process is slow at first, the revitalized second theme gains strength and is eventually able to stand by itself in a final moment of joy (m.141).
By the Hands That Reach Us aims to represent that while we can sometimes feel overwhelmed and defeated in our day-to-day life, we can often be lifted by our mentors, colleagues, family, and friends, who pull us from the depths to become better. Inside the conductor’s score is a quote that guided me throughout the compositional process, and I believe captures the spirit of this piece:
“When we feel we have lost ourselves, we extend our arms,
and we are guided by the hands that reach us.”
By the Hands That Reach Us was premiered April 26, 2019 in Griffin Concert Hall
by the Colorado State University Wind Symphony under the baton of Sheridan Monroe,
and was made possible by Dr. Rebecca Phillips and Dr. James M. David.
Photo courtesy of NatalieDyerPhoto.com