The Rose of Sonora; a violin concerto in five scenes
By: George C. Clinton
My first memory of music came from the movies. Whether it was daddy-daughter date night in theaters or sitting at home with my family in Colorado on a snowy Sunday afternoon watching an old western with a big bowl of salted popcorn, the movie soundtracks were my first entry into the world of appreciating music. I’ve secretly loved Western film music for years, but finally outed myself on Facebook in 2017 when I posted, “If there was an epic western soundtrack style violin concerto, I’d be all over it.”
The comments started rolling in as people were agreeing, commenting, and echoing my thoughts! I felt maybe there was something to this concept. I contacted Hollywood film composer and friend, George S. Clinton, to see if he had any interest in writing a Western style violin concerto. When George shared his idea of a story arc about a wild west outlaw woman compiled from real outlaw women, I knew we had something unique and very much needed. Not only was it a story that captivates, it gave me what was missing from just about every Western movie I’ve watched: a strong female lead.
~ Holly Mulcahy
In keeping with our desire to engage today’s audience, we wanted to offer an exciting three minute “Teaser” for The Rose of Sonora to orchestras programming the entire work. Much like a movie trailer or preview of coming attractions, this fun way of announcing an upcoming concert, or season, allows an audience a live and in-person sneak peek of the work. As orchestras have already discovered, performing the Teaser on a concert as a surprise invigorates and intrigues audiences for the upcoming attraction and promotes ticket sales in a new dynamic way. This version is from the Capitol Studios recording that features Ms. Mulcahy on solo violin and a virtual orchestra.
Grin, for solo violin
By Rob Deemer
The work, Grin, by Rob Deemer, was written into a violin solo to be presented to a dear friend in honor of her late husband. In my mind, music lasts longer than flowers, and with each performance of Grin, I think of the happy memories, the inspiration, and the life lived well of a man who was a great supporter of many things in the Chattanooga community.
I share the journey of Grin with my friend after each performance. Sometimes Grin is performed with wines at my wine/music pairing recitals, sometimes in prisons where it offers hope and joy.
Most importantly, this work keeps inspiring while honoring a beautiful person. Exactly what music should do.
~ Holly Mulcahy
Live performance at Walk Festival Hall in the Grand Teton Music Festival 2018 Summer Season.
By Jennifer Higdon
Jennifer Higdon’s Piano Trio was such a blast to play at the 2011 Grand Teton Music Festival. With Karen Freer on cello and Scott Holshouser on piano, it made playing this two movement work extremely fulfilling for me. Our rehearsals were terrific fun, but specifically one afternoon while playing the “Pale Yellow” movement, Karen stopped playing and proclaimed, “There is a momma and baby moose outside our screen door!!” So we put our instruments down to stare at the creatures that seemed to be drawn to Jennifer’s music.
For me personally, performing this work in such a beautiful environment made the piece that much more special. The colors that were represented were all over the Teton Range, from flowers to vivid sunsets. Besides the nature that inspired us, we also had the fantastic opportunity to work through this piece with the composer present, a true honor and pleasure.
I would like to offer my sincere gratitude to my colleagues for their permission to share these with everyone; please enjoy the following clips from the live performance of Pale Yellow and Fiery Red.
~ Holly Mulcahy