When: Thursday, June 4th at Nyack High School, 7:00pm
The Red Bandana Choral Symphony is a 4-part symphony that tells the story of 9/11 through poetic verse and orchestral music. It brings together chorus, concert band, jazz band, and string orchestra in an intensive, dramatic and moving reflection of the events of the day that has forever changed our lives. Composed by Scott Nathan Louis in 2014, the score was commissioned by MusicWorks of Arts Angels, a non-profit parent and community organization that supports the arts in Nyack Public Schools.
The first movement is based on the work, No Man is an Island, by John Donne. Written in 1694 it ends with the famous phrase, “And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” The second movement focuses on the heroic rescue of several people by Mr. Welles Crowther, who has come to be known as The Man In The Red Bandana (for the red bandana he wore to shield his face from smoke while helping others to safety). In this movement the chorus puts to song words that Welles called out during the rush to the stairs (“follow me”). The third movement captures the chaos and rescue down the stairs, growing louder and louder until the chorus is drowned out by the orchestra, musicalizing the collapse of the floors. The final movement, entitled No Goodbyes, includes quotes from Gandhi, the Dali Lama, and others with the peaceful message of humanitarianism and sacrifice. In all, this piece is designed for remembrance and reflection on how, even in the darkest times, acts of selflessness enable the human spirit to shine.
Mr. Louis has been commissioned for numerous pieces of concert music, oratorios, pop songs and musical theater. He has degrees in music composition from Binghamton University and Carnegie Mellon University, and has performed at Carnegie Hall. Currently Mr. Louis is the Director of Choral Studies at the Rockland Conservatory of Music. He is also a music teacher in Pearl River, NY, working with elementary age students.
The Nyack High School Chorus and Symphony Orchestra will be the first to perform this piece, debuting on Thursday, June 4th at the Nyack High School auditorium. This orchestra does not shy away from musical challenges. In 2013 they performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy for Symphony, Chorus and Piano and in 2012 they gave an awe-inspiring rendition of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. Noteworthy accomplishments of the band, chorus and string students who make up the Nyack High School Symphony Orchestra include that the Advanced Chorus won Gold with Distinction at two recent competitions; the Chamber Orchestra won Gold at the London Heritage Music Festival; Marching Band is classified as a NYS Field Band Champion, has placed 1st in numerous competitions and performed at Disney World; String Orchestra received Gold at Music in the Park. Needless to say, these student musicians give it their all and they have numerous awards and accolades to show for it.
Alison Crowther, mother of Welles, recently commented on this piece and the upcoming performance saying, “We are deeply touched that Welles should be so lovingly remembered through this beautiful and powerful work. To composer Scott Louis, whose sensitivity, insight and talent created the work; to the teachers and parents who supported the project and to the Nyack High School Chorus and (Symphony) Orchestra students who will bring it to life, we are profoundly moved and honored.”
Please join us for their performance – Scott Nathan Louis’ The Red Bandana: A Choral Symphony. This final concert of the school year will be Thursday, June 4th at 7:00pm at Nyack High School. It is free and open to the public.
Contact MusicWorks for more information about this upcoming concert.