For Concert Band
The Meeting Place was commissioned by Alexis Silver and her students at Sisler High School in Winnipeg, Manitoba, who were a pleasure to write with. It was the most collaborative composing experience I’ve had to date.
Alexis approached me in the summer of 2014 about writing a piece for an alumni band she was putting together. She didn’t know what she wanted to it to be like or what it should be about, but she knew she wanted to make something unique and new.
But instead of making all of the musical choices, she opened up control of the piece to her senior concert band, which is true to her character if you’ve ever met her. She is innately collaborative and empowers people to make music with kindness and support, while still pursing excellence. I’ve sometimes heard that the culture of our music room is a mirror of the conductor and her room is certainly true of that. As soon as you walk in, you feel what that program is about.
And not terribly surprising, that’s what the students wanted their commission to reflect: Music as a sense of belonging, with their band room being the hub of that idea. It was their meeting place, and that’s where the title comes from.
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