When a tragic event occurred earlier this year at the , the sense of loss was evident throughout the campus.
For John McLellan, the school's band instructor, whether the students had yet experienced a death close to them or not, clearly they were effected and words was not always inadequate as an expression of the emotions they were feeling.
McLellan then challenged his students to express that loss through music, but not just by performing works on the subject but writing a piece that would convey their thoughts.
The result is “In Memoriam- for those lost to us”, a composition for wind orchestra by Chenery eighth graders Kiara Holm, Henry Killough, Chunlok Lo, Hannah Messenger, and Nicolas Neves.
And for the second time in a school year, 34 musicians from the Chenery Winds after-school group will perform with the MIT Wind Ensemble as they premier "In Memoriam" outside of Belmont at historic Kresge Auditorium on the MIT campus tonight at 8 p.m.
Although the loss at the Chenery was not a personal one, it was clear that the students empathized with those who felt the loss most deeply and could imagine what it must be like, said McLellan.
Students were encouraged through several differing “creative assignments” to begin expressing themselves through melody, he said.
More than thirty students opted to take part in this project but Holm, Killough, Lo, Messenger, and Neves took the work to heart.
Some of the five eighth graders went so far as to learn how to use computer software to print out the music and to write for specific instruments, taking into account the timbral differences, range considerations and transpositions of each of the band instruments which is a very high level of achievement, McLellan said.
The work was premiered on on Thursday, May 10 by the Eighth Grade Band at the 7th and 8th Grade Concert at the Chenery and will be performed by the combined MIT Wind Ensemble and those Chenery musicians under the direction of Kenneth Amis, a world-famous tubist who performs with the Empire Brass Quintet for whom he also serves as principal arranger.
Amis, who has composed music for several major symphonies, was the Chenery composer in residence when the first composition project was produced five years ago, producing “Music by Committee,” a fugue for Concert Band.
The Chenery students, including the five composers, on stage tonight include:
alto sax 1
alto sax 1
alto sax 2
alto sax 2