Written Especially for CMS by Award Winning Composer Tyler S. Grant
This year the Concord Middle School (CMS) Band’s Spring Concert included the premier of two original works, written especially for CMS by composer Tyler S. Grant, a 20-year old, award winning composer/conductor whose work has been performed at Carnegie Hall, the Macy’s Day Parade, and (as of June 9th) Concord-Carlisle High School.
Mr. Grant’s commission was made possible by a grant from the Concord Education Fund (CEF) submitted by band directors Christopher Noce and Paul Halpainy. According to Mr. Halpainy, “We reached out to Tyler to compose two works – one for the 6th grade band and one for the 7th and 8th grade band – that were connected thematically to each other, to Concord’s rich history, and to the student performers coming of age as they progress through middle school.”
The 6th grade band performed the work entitled From the Concord Chronicles, an energetic piece inspired by an historical April morning in Concord that culminated with what Emerson called, “the shot heard round the world.” It purposefully captures many different styles, allowing 6th grade performers to move from a soft, almost ominous opening to a fast, frantic, resounding conclusion.
The 7th and 8th grade band performed Resplendent Light, a moving, lyrical piece inspired by Thoreau’s On Walden Pond and a personal loss suffered by the composer. Begun the day he learned that his grandfather passed away, Grant found it fitting that Resplendent Light premiered on what would have been his grandfather’s 80th birthday. Introducing the piece, Mr. Grant went on to note, “One of the reasons that I support music education as much as I do is for its social value. It’s an activity that allows young musicians to come together and experience some joy in a world that really needs it.”
Prior to the concert, Grant worked directly with the students to fine-tune their interpretation of each piece before conducting them through the premier performances. He concluded his remarks at the concert by complimenting the students, the band directors and especially the Concord parent community for its enthusiastic support of music education. According to Grant, “The commissioning of two original pieces in one year is rare, but that both were commissioned by a middle school is extraordinary.”