Band to Premiere "Prayer - In Memoriam December 14, 2012"

News Story: March 12, 2013

The Sacred Heart University Band will present the world premiere of Prayer – In Memoriam December 14, 2012 on Sunday, March 24. After the tragic shooting of 20 elementary school students and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Keith Johnston, director of Sacred Heart Bands, spoke with his friend composer Steven Rosenhaus and suggested that he write something. 

“This affected all of us in some way. Several band members felt the impact of this horrible event on a very personal level. We have students who knew some of the kids who were killed and others who had family working in emergency services in the Newtown area that day,” Johnston said. “When I spoke with Steve about writing a piece, we talked about how best to approach it, what form the piece should take, should it include choir? Ultimately, in the end, Steve decided there were no words to express the weight of sadness and grief and that he would simply speak through music.”

Rosenhaus is an adjunct assistant professor of composition at New York University. His works are played worldwide by such performers as the Dresden Sinfonietta, the Ploiesti Symphony Orchestra (Romania), the Sheboygan Symphony (Wis.), the New York Repertory Orchestra, the United States Navy Band (Washington, D.C.), the United States Naval Academy Band, the United States Naval Forces Europe Band (Naples, Italy) and the Meridian String Quartet. He is the author of The Concertgoer’s Guide to the Symphony Orchestra and is co-author with Allen Cohen of Writing Musical Theater, as well as a contributor to such publications as Theory and Practice, The Instrumentalist and Strings. He currently has over 150 original works and arrangements in print, and recordings of his music can be found on the Richardson, Musical Tapestries, Capstone and MPP labels.

Prayer – In Memoriam December 14, 2012 is not the first Rosenhaus premiere to take place at Sacred Heart. In April 2012 the Sacred Heart University Band, with Keith Johnston as soloist, premiered Rosenhaus’ Nine Feet of Brass (A Concerto for Trombone and Band) with the composer conducting.

The March 24 concert will also include Saint-Saens Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso featuring Sacred Heart String Ensemble Director Janet Boughton on the violin solo. The concert will take place at SHU’s Edgerton Center for the Performing Arts at 3 p.m. and is free and open to the public.