Minot State music professor’s piece honoring 9/11 victims to be performed
A new piece that Emerson Eads, director of Choral Activities at Minot State University and professor of music, wrote to commemorate the life of a family member who took her own life will be premiered by the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra and Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus on Saturday, Sept. 18. Eads will be featured as the tenor solo for the performance. The performance will be done in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
“I’ve never written a piece for myself, so this is rather rare,” Eads said.
The performance will be held at the Belle Mehus Auditorium in Bismarck beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Eads said the concert is a memorial for 9/11 and features “Mozart Requiem,” in which he will be singing the tenor solo. He said the orchestra’s conductor, Beverly Everett, contacted him and asked him to write a piece commemorating 9/11.
“She told me she wished to include my arrangement of ‘His Eye Is On The Sparrow.’ As I thought through the commission I had a picture come up on the ‘memories’ of a family member who had taken her own life and so I knew I wanted the piece to be dedicated to Devin, and the beautiful light that ‘she was,’ “ Eads
He said he took the following text and melded them:
Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)
“Say not in grief that she is gone,
But say in thankfulness that she was.
A death is not the extinguishing of a light
But the putting out of the lamp because the dawn has come.”
Rabbi Yehuda Hachasid (1150-1217)
“I will build an altar with the broken pieces of my heart.”
“I’m a composer and conductor, but I’m also a tenor, so I wrote it for orchestra, chorus and tenor soloist,” Eads said. “It is a big sing, full of emotion and longing, and I’m so excited to share it, and delighted that Beverly called this piece into existence. It gave me hope, and a way of recontextualizing Devin’s short time here into simple gratitude that she was, and that title ‘She Was’ stuck.”