Everyday life is filled with challenges and adversity. It shapes our experiences as individuals and as a community. But what does resiliency sound like? In Stand Tall, Chris Fisher-Lochhead and the young musicians of CHIME "sound out resilience" through their instruments, improvisations, and personal stories.
The origins of the newly-composed piece titled Stand Tall are truly unique and demonstrate a spectacular example of collaborative composition. Motivated by their participation in the Reflections on Resilience project, students of CHIME embarked on a year of reflection, improvisation, and composition all centered around the concept of resilience. This vast amount of creative output was then synthesized by composer Chris Fischer-Lochhead who arranged the various rhythms, melodies and words into a full orchestral work. It is a work not only designed for all CHIME students to perform together, but also highlights the many incredible elements that make the CHIME program extraordinary while showcasing the program’s depth and scope.
Beginning with a melancholy and somber section in G minor, a steadily driving march unfolds. Soloists immediately present the main melody and thematic material, representing the individualistic experience of one traversing through this challenging and difficult time. After multiple repetitions of this dark theme and increased activity from the accompanying voices, a new section in G major, full of hope and optimism is presented by the strings of the orchestra. This positivity doesn’t last long, as the opening minor character quickly returns in a much more forceful and aggressive version.
The strings once again emerge with an uplifting and promising mood, this time more determined than before. The soloists also return to the forefront of the texture with a response of improvised solos. This creativity and spontaneity spark a response from the younger musicians to make an entrance with their own melody. This “new” melody being passed back and forth by the youngest musicians is actually a transformation of the opening theme but now with a cheerful disposition. This evolution of material signifies lasting change and carries the music toward its powerful conclusion. The piece ends in song, inviting all to sing together in confirmation that we have the strength and determination to endure whatever challenges we may face.
GE Theatre at Proctors in Schenectady, NY (World Premiere)
The Festival of Young Artists
Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY
Carnegie Hall in New York City
What is resilience? Together, ESYO CHIME musicians reflected on their personal stories and created a collective definition of resilience and how music can motivate and inspire you to be resilient.
What does resilience sound like? Together as a musical community, ESYO CHIME explored the interconnectedness of music, sound, and emotion and translated their reflections into musical expressions and improvisations. ESYO Composer-in-Residence Christopher Fisher-Lochead took those expressions and improvisations and arranged them into a larger orchestra work.
Inspired by their personal stories and the experiences of others in their community, Stand Tall features lyrics written by ESYO CHIME musicians.
When there’s an obstacle in your way,
When you feel like you can’t face the day,
When you’re afraid that you will fall behind,
You gotta believe that you can always shine.
It’s O.k. to crawl as long as you don’t feel small.
It’s O.k. to fail as long as you never bail.
It’s O.k. to ask for help if you are true to yourself.
It’s O.k. to rest as long as you try your best.
It’s O.k. to cry if you have fire in your eyes.
It’s O.k. to fall as long as you will always stand tall,