An Appalachian Trail Symphony: New England

Performed by the Claflin Hill Symphony Orchestra

Music and photos by Keane Southard

Read the story behind the symphony


December 2020 News   

This has certainly been a year unlike any other, but amongst all the difficulties and challenges I have really been blessed with a lot of wonderful opportunities and things to be grateful for.  Most recently, I was awarded a residency at the Copland House   and will be spending the three weeks after Christmas living and composing in the house where Aaron Copland spent the last three decades of his life!  I was one of five composers selected for this award this year out of 130 applications!  After being holed up in my apartment so much during the past 9 months and not doing any overnight travel since the summer, I'm thrilled to be able to have some new and historic surroundings to be and compose in!  I can't wait!

I have two pieces I will be working on at the Copland House.  One is a new art song commissioned by the
 Art Song Collaborative Project  in Toronto, Canada, on the theme of protecting the environment.  I've written my own text entitled "Mottainai" which is a Japanese expression of regret at the full value of something not being put to good use (something which I feel often very strongly but for which there is no equivalent term in English).  The other piece is one I am writing for the   ONIX Ensamble , a Mexican new music ensemble, as part of the RED NOTE New Music Festival Composition Workshop in February at Illinois State University, for which I was one of 9 composers chosen from 175 applications.  After writing those two works, my next project is a new work for   OSSIA , which is the student-run new music ensemble here at Eastman, to be performed in April which will explore my love of glissandi (the musical technique of sliding between pitches.)

I'm also thrilled that back in September my new wind ensemble work The Dove in the Ash Grove (which was originally written
  for cello and piano ) won 2nd prize in the Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble's Composition Competition (out of 210 entries)!  At some point after the pandemic, the ensemble will bring me out to Hanover, New Hampshire, to attend the premiere of the work.  You may remember that I lived in Hanover, NH for a year in 2016-17, but my father also went to graduate school at Dartmouth back in the 80s and my parents now live just a town over, so it will be something of a homecoming for me!

One night this past summer, I watched the film "1917" which has a moving scene where a soldier
sings the American folksong "The Wayfaring Stranger" to his fellow soldiers.  It really must have made an impression on me because a few nights later I had a dream where I was in a choir that was accompanying a solo singer singing the song.  I was able to remember some of the choral accompaniment when I woke up, so I wrote it down and within a few days I had a new complete choral setting of this folksong.  But what choir would be able to sing it during this pandemic?  So I asked my good friend David McHenry if he might make a recording where he'd overdub and sing all the parts himself and it sounds pretty amazing! 



I was also able to have one performance at Eastman this semester.  The amazing pianist   Nathan Cheung gave a superb performance of my Preludes No. 15 (Liquid) and 16 (Scurrying) back in September.   



Additionally, I was honored to be asked to write an article on my Appalachian Trail Symphony for Journeys, which is the official magazine of the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.  

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Radio

Southard: Piano Sonata no 2
Southard: Homage to L. M. Gottschalk
Southard: Fantasy in B flat minor
Southard: Prelude No. 1 (Jazz) for Piano Solo
Southard: Prelude No. 2 (Drops) for Piano Solo
Southard: Prelude No. 3 (Homage to Nancarrow) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 4 (O Woozy Suzy!) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 5 (Precision) for Piano solo
Southard: Tidal Wave Rag for Piano solo
Southard: No-Name Rag for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 9 (Guante-ango) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 7 (Perfect Ostinato) for Piano Solo (2010)
Southard: Prelude No. 10 (For Ken Girard) for Piano solo
Southard: Prelude No. 14 (Berceuse) for Piano Solo
Southard: A Waltz for Diane
Southard: Prelude No. 13 (Waves)
Southard: Prelude No. 12 (88 Keys) for Piano
Southard: Prelude No. 8 (Chromatic) for Piano Solo
Rzewski: Down By the Riverside
Finzi: Eclogue for Piano and Strings in F major, Op. 10
Ives: Sonata for Piano no 2 "Concord, Mass 1840–60"
Gottschalk: The Union, Concert Paraphrase on National Airs for Piano, Op. 48
Guarnieri: Valsa no 5
Guarnieri: Valsa no 9
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras no 4 for Piano, A 264
Guarnieri: Dansa negra
Nazareth: Odeon
Nazareth: Xangô
Villa-Lobos: A Lenda do Caboclo, W 166
Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras no 4 for Piano, A 264
Guarnieri: Improviso II
Guarnieri: Maria Lucia
Guarnieri: Dansa negra
Santoro: 7 Paulistanas
Gnattali: Negaceando
Warlock: Folksong Preludes
Foulds: English Tune with Burden
Foulds: April – England, Op. 48 no 1
Foulds: Dance Tunes from Punjab
Foulds: Recollections of Ancient Greek Music
Southard: Concerto for Solo Piano and Solo Organ
Southard: Blazonry for 8 Percussionists
Southard: And Death Shall Have No Dominion
Southard: Chorale for Brass Quintet
Southard: Variations on a Hymn (Beecher) for Organ
Southard: Duo for Clarinet and Cello
Southard: Duo for Violin and Piano
Southard: String Quartet no 1
Southard: In My Craft or Sullen Art
Southard: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
Southard: Music for the Film "Glava" (excerpt)
Southard: Piano Quintet 'New England'
Southard: Sonata no 1 for Violin and Piano
Southard: Quintette de Cuivres
Southard: Variazioni Semplici for Violin and Harp
Southard: Swansong for Cello and Piano
Southard: The Dove in the Ash Grove for Cello and Piano
Southard: Two Minutes for Saxophone Quartet
Southard: Sonata for Clarinet and Piano
Southard: "Breathing Winter's Air" for Sextet
Southard: In this short Life for Organ
Southard: "Winter Scene at Summer Lake" for 4-channel Fixed Media
Southard: Midnight Prayer for String Quartet
Southard: Mini-Concerto for Piano and 8 Players
Southard: Seven Short Studies for String Orchestra
Southard: Mini-Symphony for Chamber Orchestra
Southard: A Day of Sunshine for Chorus and Orchestra
Southard: Waltzing Dervish for Wind (powered) Ensemble
Southard: Do You Hear How Many You Are?
Southard: "Classical" Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra
Southard: Do You Hear How Many You Are? for Concert Band
Southard: Carousel for Concert Band
Southard: Showers over Peaks and Vales for Orchestra
Southard: No Interior do Rio de Janeiro for Orchestra
Southard: Uma Passacalha Brasileira for Wind Ensemble
Southard: The Glastonbury Wilderness for Orchestra
Southard: Um Ano no Brasil (A Year in Brazil)
Southard: No Interior do Rio de Janeiro for Wind Ensemble
Southard: Concertino for Piano and Wind Ensemble
Southard: "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud" for SAB choir
Southard: In the Spaces of Thought" for SATB Choir
Southard: "A Blessing of Discomfort" for SSA Choir
Southard: An Appalachian Trail Symphony: New England (Symphony No.1)
Southard: A Hymn of Life
Southard: "In this short Life" for SATB Choir
Southard: Berceuse for String Orchestra
Southard: "Lamentation" for String Orchestra
Southard: Missa Brevis
Southard: "Jesus Wept" for SATB Choir
Southard: "Bennington" for 12-part SATB Choir
Southard: "Dona Nobis Pacem" for SATB Choir
Gottschalk: The Union, Concert Paraphrase on National Airs for Piano, Op. 48
Southard: Piano Sonata no 2
Finzi: Eclogue for Piano and Strings in F major, Op. 10
Ives: Sonata for Piano no 2 "Concord, Mass 1840–60"
Southard: Improvisation 1/31/10

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