July 16, 2023: JFK: The Last Speech – World Premiere

May 23, 2023

Flatiron Escapades

Jordan Holloway (b. 1999)

Flatiron Escapades is a musical tribute to the Colorado Chautauqua, composed in commemoration of its 125th anniversary, and is a reflection of my experiences in the park and the surrounding Flatirons.

For three years, I lived very close to the Chautauqua Trailhead, embarking on myriad walks, jogs, and hikes through the terrain. Music would often accompany these excursions, either in my earbuds or in my mind; the music of Lili Boulanger, Gustav Mahler, Maurice Ravel, and several of my own musical ideas that had yet to be written down, are now inseparable from this place for me, and many of these musical impressions served as inspiration for Flatiron Escapades.

In addition to my many positive experiences surrounding Chautauqua and the Flatirons, I can recount many “trudges” up the Chautauqua Trail that were motivated by a need to get out of my own head. I recall most of them happening in the year 2020, when there were too many occasions on which it felt as though things just became worse and worse; occasions on which it felt impossible to breathe. I would come to Chautauqua to find the quiet that my mind needed, even if it was only temporary, and these episodes of anxiety and internal chaos are woven into the piece as well.

I am absolutely honored to have my work performed at the Colorado Music Festival, under the baton of Peter Oundjian. I am endlessly grateful to him, to Chris and Barbara Christoffersen, and to the musicians who will bring this work to life.

Dreams I Must Not Speak

Carter Pann (b. 1972)

Dreams I Must Not Speak emerged from a cathartic attempt to realize, in music, three dreams I experience during sleep with noticeable regularity.  These are not nightmares nor are they pleasant images, but rather odd and somewhat psychedelic scenes that have remained distinct in my awakened conscience over the years.  These three tableaux are presented here without pause.  It does not make sense for me to deem this an autobiographical work like a memoir or entries in a diary.  These are more like etchings on the shadowy wall of one’s private existence.  ~CP

Dreams I Must Not Speak (2022)

  1. A Collage of Strange Faces
  2. The Moors
  3. Realization Point, Flagstaff Road, Boulder Colorado, 2:48 A.M. [Homage to T.N.]

*Commissioned by Chris and Barbara Christoffersen

JFK: The Last Speech

Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941)

Inspired by President Kennedy’s speech honoring the poet Robert Frost, delivered at Amherst College October 26, 1963*, the work will include lines from JFK’s Amherst speech interspersed with lines from poems by Robert Frost – a libretto authored by a then Amherst senior, who heard the President speak on that idyllic fall day.

Dr. Hailstork writes:

“My plan is to set supporting music to John F. Kennedy’s words to be presented by a reader (male or female) and to set selections from the poetry of Robert Frost to be sung by either a soprano (pref.) or tenor.

“My writing will reflect the autumn season, the solemnity of the moment, and the unique oratorical gifts of Kennedy the president, and the profound literary gifts of Frost the poet.”

JFK invited Robert Frost to be the first poet ever to speak at a Presidential Inauguration and Frost was a frequent guest at the Kennedy White House.  A break in the relationship between Kennedy and Frost occurred when Frost misspoke upon returning from the USSR, where he met with Premier Khrushchev in September 1962.

Kennedy’s speech at Amherst represented a posthumous reconciliation, nine months after Frost died, and was called the “most majestic” of JFK’s career.  Twenty-seven days later, Kennedy was assassinated.

The work will be approximately 30 minutes with maximum instrumentation of narrator, soprano or tenor, 2333-4331-T+3-hp-kybrd-str.

*Additional detail at: www.jfkthelastspeech.org.


Program notes provided by the composers

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