Openings by Alec Schumacker

April 24, 2023  |   Posted In

Openings _p1Openings _p1


By Alec Schumacker

Instrumentation: String Orchestra
Grade Level: 4

The students of the Evergreen Valley High School String Orchestra assisted greatly in the genesis of this composition. During a lively initial discussion, they stated their desires for a piece with a dramatic, grand, and powerful feeling like a chase scene. They specifically requested that the piece pass melodic ideas around between parts, feature numerous dynamic, melodic, and texture contrasts with recurring ostinati, and be in an overall ternary form with a contrasting slower middle section.

I’m so grateful the students had such thoughtful, specific, and earnest requests! While playing with potential ideas for their piece, I kept returning to the concept of open string sounds as those have always contained a special anticipatory and dramatic excitement in my mind – the same kind of excitement I felt from the students in that conversation and one that hopefully is found in the work as well. Almost every bar in the piece contains a possible open string being played (ideally, whenever one occurs, notes should be played on the open string) and the entire piece is built around the concept of “opening” – sounds open in contrasting motion, the initial melody gradually opens up into harmonic treatment, open fifths gradually open via glissando into a stack of fifths, etc. I sincerely hope you enjoy Openings.

(NYIMF 2023 premiere by Evergreen Valley HS String Orchestra)

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Additional information

Weight 0.1 lbs
Dimensions 0.004 × 11 × 17 in

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