Finding The Light

Choral | SSAA/SATB | 4′
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“‘A cry for help’ an ‘I can’t breathe’ we are the help that our futures need.” This was just one of many responses that students from Aspire Middle School for the Performing Arts and the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics gave me when I asked for their thoughts about life during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Although the Finding the Light is scored for four distinct vocal parts with piano, I wanted to create moments of community support within the piece through the use of unisons between parts and diatonic tone clusters to create the feeling of being harmonically hugged. Inspired by friend Carolyn Quick’s piece entitled Pieces, I opted to explore the use of a more linear accompaniment part in the piano that’s a counterpoint to the vocal parts, much like the relationship of an individual and their community has to the rest of the world, which gets expanded to the vocal parts in the third stanza to highlight the responses of different subgroups within the community. In-between the contrapuntal sections, I contrasted harmonized protest chants that were inspired by the protests for racial equality that started during June 2020. Finally, the phrase “we are dropped in a dark place, but we will find the light.” gets repeat like a mantra, expressing the collective hope that we have for humanity during this trying time, tying the piece together.

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