Sound file and score preview here: A Father's Hymn (grade 3) - BENJAMIN DEAN TAYLOR, composer (benjamintaylormusic.com)
NB- PDF files will be emailed to you once watermarked - there will be no download link with this orderProgram Note
Gary Sudano (1942-2017) will always be remembered as a loving father and passionate music educator. This work is a gift from his wife Jan, his children, and the families in the three Band programs involved to honor his life and legacy. Gary absolutely loved classical music and for many years taught music courses at Purdue and Illinois State. Gary’s son, Jim, recalled his father’s favorite composers being Bach, Brahms, and Sibelius, just to name a few. In my early discussions with Jim about this commission, we both felt that Gary would want a reflective ballad that was influenced by classical music and several traditional hymn tunes. Thus, melodies from “Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow”, “Be Still My Soul”, and “It is Well With My Soul” appear throughout the work - sometimes as a direct statement, sometimes as an echo, as if the listener is reflecting on a distant memory.
The work opens with a soft ostinato pattern consisting of the notes E, E, B, E, E, D, which are the musical pitch letters taken from the word “remembered”. A descending line pushes the work to a momentary climax where a fanfare theme is presented in the trumpets based upon the letters in Gary’s name. Another thematic element heard at significant moments throughout the work is a descending melodic theme consisting of the pitches D, A, D, which symbolizes the recurring influence our dads have in our lives. I sincerely hope that my efforts to illustrate these themes and briefly describe the ideas behind them will be of benefit to all who perform, conduct, and listen to this piece. This composition has become a deeply personal work for me. I have a wonderful father, and now as a father myself of five sons, I understand the deep love inherent with that title. I offer this work as a tribute to fathers everywhere who have loved us, played with us, encouraged us, and ultimately changed us.