While on vacation in France during the summer of 2009 I visited two cemeteries: the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, known as Omaha Beach, and the German Military Cemetery, also in Normandy. In spite of the contrasting sculptures and stonework in both—be it the muscle-bound and Promethean “Spirit of American Youth” in the one, or the grief-stricken mother and father flanking the large Saxon cross in the other—the ambience in each was poignant and profound. As I wandered among the stone crosses, I marveled acre after acre at the lives laid to rest there—predominantly young lives snuffed out at ages that surreally echo the ages of my students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.
Les Jeunes et les Imortels (“The Young and the Immortal”) is written for the Eau Claire Chamber Orchestra in the memory of the youth swallowed up in the vastly contrasting circumstances of time and place – youth who rode, and continue to ride, the opposing, clashing waves amidst epic ideological confrontations.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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