Bill Lee

Bill Lee

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Charleston Wind Symphony play Good Nigh Dear Heartt

Bill Lee
Bill Lee 2/27/2016 7:26:51 PM

Charleston Wind Symphony Forrest Good Night Dear Heart Feb 19 2016

Charleston Wind Symphony play Good Nigh Dear Heart by Dan Forrest Feb 19, 2016 Program note: "In early October 2008, my brother and his wife found out that t...

Charleston Wind Symphony play Good Nigh Dear Heart by Dan Forrest Feb 19, 2016
Program note:

"In early October 2008, my brother and his wife found out that the four month old girl that they were soon to adopt from Ethiopia was in the hospital. They had been making plans for her, staring endlessly at her picture, and loving her from across the ocean, so the news was devastating. Unable to help her in any physical way, they prayed ceaselessly and made appeals to speed up the legal process in Ethiopia. Initially, she made a turn for the better, but on October 13, they received the news that she had died. Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 4.12.04 PMGod’s plans were not for her to ever see the people who had loved her from halfway around the world, but for her to be taken instead to His loving arms. For me, life circumstances (whether euphoric or tragic) have never translated into musical inspiration; the two have always been separate. As a result of this tragedy, though, I found myself longing to pour out a musical elegy. My search for a suitable text led me all over the internet that night, but, amazingly, it ended with a picture from a cemetery in my hometown (Elmira, NY), where the great American author Mark Twain and his family are buried. My brother and I, from our youth, have known the poem that Twain placed on the tombstone of his beloved daughter Susy, when she died unexpectedly at age 24 and left him heartbroken. I was stunned by the bittersweet irony of this text being from our hometown, and in honor of a beloved daughter who died unexpectedly. I wrote this setting within a day, and gave it to the BJU Chorale for a reading. They learned it in only a few rehearsals, and premiered it in a concert only one week later, as an elegy for Etsegenet and a reminder of the orphans of Ethiopia."

-Dan Forrest
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