Books With Blank Pages

From Wind Repertory Project
Samuel Hazo

Samuel Hazo

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General Info

Year: 2015
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Publisher: Manuscript


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None discovered thus far.

Program Notes

Books With Blank Pages is dedicated to the memory of Laura Onwudinanti and Jack Stewart. This composition was commissioned by Robinson High School, Robert Vetter, director. World premiere on February 13, 2015, at the Texas Music Educators’ Association (TMEA) Convention during Robinson High School’s Honor Band performance; Dr. J. Eric Wilson, Guest Conductor; Dr. Jun Qian, clarinet soloist.

Sometimes, stories begin before you know they begin. In 2011, I guest conducted at a summer high school band camp run by Texas A&M, Commerce. While there, my fellow guest conductor, Jeff Bradford, introduced me to Jack Stewart, a student of his at Lake Highlands HS whom he called his adopted son. Fast forward to 2014. A Facebook post of Jeff’s pops up on my screen. It is deliberately vague but reads as if he has lost a student. I send my condolences but do not learn more information. Two weeks later, Robert Vetter, graciously asks me if he could commission a clarinet concerto for his ensemble’s honor band concert at TMEA. He asks if the piece could be a memorial to two clarinet students whose lives were lost in a tragic automobile accident en route to a clarinet symposium. Both were from Baylor University, located near Robinson High School, where Baylor director of bands, Eric Wilson, often came to clinic the Robinson band. At the time, I think to myself that I don’t have an immediate opening in my commission schedule. Then, Robert Vetter mentions one of the students was a graduate of Lake Highlands. As I research it online, photos of Laura and Jack appear. Jack’s face instantly snaps into my image of him in the summer camp clarinet section. I read further about Laura’s sweet nature and recent acceptance as a graduate student at the University of Michigan. Now, the piece must be written and I do not want anyone else to write it.

About the Composition... everyone is a book. What no one knows is how many pages or chapters the book will be. What we hope is that we live to write the ending. If there are pages left to write in someone’s book, those who love him/her must write them. A person’s influence does not leave with their souls. Hence, no one ever dies until the last person who loves them is silent. We continue to write until we fill the final blank page. A very special thank you to Dr. Jun Qian, Baylor University Clarinet professor. To Laura and Jack, Dr. Qian was a mentor. May the love and musicality in your performance contribute a beautiful chapter.

- Program Note by composer


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State Ratings

None discovered thus far.


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  • Raritan Valley (Bridgewater Township, N.J.) Symphonic Band (Frank Amato, conductor: Christopher Sumner, clarinet) - 1 May 2022
  • Robinson (Texas) High School Symphonic Band (J. Eric Wilson, conductor; Jun Qian, clarinet) - 13 February 2015 (2015 TMEA Conference, San Antonio) - '*Premiere performance*'

Works for Winds by This Composer

Adaptable Music

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