Salute - for one piano six hands (2016)
In May of 2016, “Salute” was originally written as a one-minute composition in response to the Vox Novus and West Point Band’s call for scores, Fifteen-Minutes-of-Fame: A Celebration of Service. During the course of writing the music, a much longer version of “Salute” was inspired. I then wanted to expand on my original piece to fully capture the United States Military Academy’s motto of “Duty, Honor, Country”.
“Salute” begins with a strong resounding chord that is followed by an animated melodic line with an energetic supporting rhythmic pattern, to suggest an inspired sense of duty. The nobly spirited slow sections portray the sentiment of great honor and pride to serve our nation. I incorporated fragments of melody from the patriotic song “American the Beautiful” to convey a deep appreciation for this country. In the recapitulation section, I chose to not only bring back the composition’s opening themes, but to also include a light-hearted element in celebration of the West Point Band’s 200 years anniversary.
My one-minute “Salute” received the high honor of being premiered by the West Point Band at the Trinity Church in NYC on September 11th. Not only did I hear such a wonderful concert that day, I also experienced the band’s heart-felt American pride on full display. It is after the concert, fully inspired, I rushed back home to find a perfect spot in my composition to insert a few more notes to be sung by the piano one - a Happy Birthday “Salute” to the West Point Band!