Song of the Phoenix

Premiered: Michigan State University Wind Symphony, Dr. Kevin Sedatole, director. 2011

Year: 2011

Duration: 11 minutes

Difficulty: Grade 6

Instrumentation: Wind ensemble

Program Notes:

SONG OF THE PHOENIX is a symphonic poem that is approached on two metaphoric fronts. One suggests the story of the phoenix bird itself. In the myth, the bird dies in a bright flash of fire, and is then reborn from the ashes it created. The other metaphor is one of urban renewal. Too often we see structures that are torn down in order to quickly build new, usually less interesting buildings in their place. Renovation and preservation have fallen too far down on the list of priorities when it comes to rebuilding our city skylines. My goal with this work is to remind listeners that renewal and renovation can go hand in hand. Buildings can be created from the materials and structures that were there before, adding a historical richness to their modern functionality.

Leonard Slatkin and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra read SONG OF THE PHOENIX (for orchestra) on January 30th, 2010 at Orchestra Hall. Carlos Andrés Botero conducted the Michigan State University Symphony Orchestra in the premiere performance in March of that same year.

Transcription completed in July 2010.