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


May 2021 News   

I began 2021 in residence at the Copland House which was such an amazing experience.  It's one thing to get to visit the house where a famous artist lived that's been turned into a museum; maybe you get to sit at their chair or desk for a minute, but you are supervised when you are there and then have to go home after an hour or two.  It's a different thing when you get to live there for 3 weeks alone, sleep in the bedroom, eat in the kitchen, and get to create art in the studio!  It was certainly an experience I'll never forget.



While I was there, I wrote two new pieces: an art song called Mottainai for the
Art Song Collaborative Project in Toronto, Canada, and a short piece for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano for the ONIX Ensamble in Mexico City, Mexico called Rock Hill (named after the original name of Copland's house).  Mottainai is a Japanese expression of regret at the full value of something not being put to good use or the feeling of regret at something being wasted, and this song will be recorded this summer/fall as part of a collaborative opera focused on solutions to the environmental crisis.  Rock Hill will be performed by ONIX Ensamble likely this fall as part of the RED NOTE Music Festival at Illinois State University.



After leaving the Copland House (and passing my doctoral comprehensive exams!) I then wrote a new piece called Gliss for
  OSSIA , the student-run new music ensemble here at Eastman, exploring my love of glissandi (the musical technique of sliding between pitches).  I wrote it for a strange ensemble: violin, viola, cello, 3 trombones, and 3 electric guitars; all instruments who are capable of doing sustained continuous glissandi.  I was lucky to have this wild piece performed last month, conducted by Maurice Cohn , with an actual in-person audience!



Somehow while writing Gliss, I found time to write two new songs which, combined with a song I wrote in 2016, formed a set of Three Love Songs for Voice and Piano dedicated to my wife Diane.  In April, I performed them at Eastman with the incredible Jazmine Saunders.



Then I orchestrated the songs so that they could be performed with a small orchestra instead of piano, and I received a nice reading of them with Jazmine and the Eastman Philharmonia conducted by Austin Chanu.  


At the end of this semester, I also got to premiere my new Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano "Chaconnesque" that I wrote last year, with Nicholas Shaefer playing violin.  This piece took me a year to write and I was happy to learn that it was awarded the Howard Hanson Ensemble Prize from the Eastman composition department this year too!



This semester, I also received readings of my choral work Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace (with the Eastman Chorale conducted by William Weinert), A Meditation on Mercy for Concert Band (with the Eastman Wind Orchestra conducted by Lindsay Bronnenkant) and Out of the Depths for Concert Band (with the Eastman Wind Orchestra conducted by David Baker).  Off campus, I also had a beautiful premiere of my Lamentation for String Orchestra by the Penn State Philharmonic, conducted by Gerardo Edelstein, at the Penn State 2021 New Music Festival and Symposium back in March.



Outside of composing, I'm proud to share that I received two other accolades at Eastman this semester.  I was one of 6 graduate students to be awarded the Teaching Assistant Prize for Excellence in Teaching this year, and one of 21 students inducted into the national music honor society Pi Kappa Lambda !


This summer, I will be spending two weeks in June doing a residency at the
Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts in Nebraska City, NE.  This comes after having done an 8-week residency there back in 2012 shortly after I finished my master's degree, so I'm excited to go back and get a lot of composing done.  I'm also planning to spend a few weeks hiking the Long Trail in Vermont in July as well.



I'll also start work on my doctoral dissertation this summer, as passing my comprehensive exams this past semester means I will spend next year, my final year at Eastman, focused on that.  The dissertation is in two parts and both will explore the idea of
Kingian Nonviolence (following the teachings of Martin Luther King Jr.) applied to music. I will create a new work for the Eastman Wind Ensemble inspired by Kingian Nonviolence and a research paper on how it can be integrated into music education programs inspired by Venezuela's "El Sistema".  

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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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