Monday Musical Moment: New Year, New Music!

Justin Langham   -  
Happy Monday to all, and a happy new year!
After a much-needed hiatus for my mental and physical well-being, I am excited to bring you the first musical moment of 2022! I personally love the beginning of the new year. No matter what good or bad things may have happened in 2021, the thought of a clean slate, even if only on paper, always fills me with optimism and excitement for weeks and months ahead. So many possibilities and opportunities to grow.
As I reflected on my own experiences in 2021, I am filled with gratitude. In some ways, it was one of the toughest years of my life, but also one with a lot of growth. After my injury, I faced the possibility of never playing trumpet again, but also realized how much I took it for granted. Covid made life far more stressful and difficult, but also reminded me how fortunate I am to face those uncertainties with others. We all face obstacles of various shapes and sizes, but this year further convinced me that the only way is through them; to navigate them as best we can and do our best to grow from the experience, and sometimes not in the way you expect. Sometimes growth doesn’t look the way we think it will, but what fun would that be? Growing in unexpected ways is one of the beauties of life. I hope your year is off to a great start!
For the new year, I wanted to share with you some relatively new music, and briefly plug an upcoming performance. This coming Friday, I will be participating in a performance of Eric Whitacre’s “The Sacred Veil” led by my very dear friend and fellow doctoral student at the University of Houston, Matthew Hazzard.
“The Sacred Veil” was composed in 2019 and is one of the most emotionally powerful and devasting works I’ve experienced. There is so much I could say about this piece, but I will instead share this short summary from the composer’s website:
“The Sacred Veil is a 12-movement work and the most recent collaboration between Eric Whitacre and poet/lyricist Charles Anthony Silvestri telling a story of life, love and loss. Silvestri’s wife, Julie, died of ovarian cancer at age 36 in 2005, leaving two young children. Including texts from Silvestri, Whitacre and Julie herself, the intimate, compelling score tells a story of courtship, love, loss and the search for solace. Although inspired by this extraordinary and moving friendship, the piece does not mention Julie by name and shares a very human journey –one that so many of us can relate to.”
The clip today is the final movement of the work, “Child of Wonder,” performed by the Bob Cole Chamber Choir from Cal State Long Beach with the composer conducting. This movement has completely new meaning and power after hearing the complete piece. The performance will take place at Trinity Downtown at 7:00pm and will last about an hour. Matt is a beautiful musician and gifted communicator when in front of a choir. I hope you consider experiencing a rare performance of this incredible work!