We are pleased to bring to Oregon Freedom From Fear, a new symphony by local composer Kevin Walczyk, which was premiered by The University of Kansas Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble in performances in Kansas and at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In a rare fusion of wind and jazz ensembles, this four-movement piece flows among varied musical styles, including classical, Delta blues, jazz improvisation, Syrian folk music and the voices of soprano and boy soprano. Salem Symphonic Winds will be joined for the performance by the Salem Big Band and soprano soloist Clare Hudkins. Read more below.
The work pursues a programmatic idea that centers on displaced peoples and the global concept of Freedom from Fear — one of the Four Freedoms Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke of in his 1941 United Nations inaugural address. FDR’s Four Freedoms became so emblematic of the United Nations that they were added to its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This symphony is unified by the concept of Freedom from Fear as it impacts displaced peoples. The focus of the symphony’s four movements range from the experience of adoptees represented by the biblical story of Moses to the beacon of hope the Statue of Liberty offers the displaced: the Courage and Freedom from Fear to relinquish their homeland and start again, adopted by their new country.
Martin Ellerby’s Cane River Murals were inspired by the spirituality of the African House Murals by Clementine Hunter. Her nine murals depict the colorfully rich daily life of the Cane River Country’s Creole inhabitants in the early 20th century, near the Melrose Plantation in Louisiana. This five-movement suite comes alive in a celebration of dance and color, but also encompasses a darker and more spiritual truth that their initial innocence somewhat shrouds.
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