…who is the recipient of a surprise concert today in celebration of his announced retirement after a glorious 40 years or so at The Florida State University College of Music.
I wrote a work Flight for saxophone orchestra, which will be premiered at this evening’s concert by 68 students and alumni from Pat’s studio. Here is my message to him:
Pat! You had something like a billion saxophone students, and there is no doubt that each and every one of them touched your heart as much as you have touched theirs. (Ew…) My experience with you was quite different than most in that I am not a saxophonist. To this day, I haven’t even touched any saxophones (except at saxophone conferences, where I like to “play” all of the free samples).
Anyway, I am so grateful for that day after one of the FSU New Music Ensemble concerts in the Spring of 1995 when you approached me about writing a mixed chamber ensemble piece for you. I met you in your office and you introduced me to all sorts of sounds and colors I didn’t know existed (“It’s not slap-tonguing; it’s a quasi-pizzicato…”), and you pointed me to recordings of literature composed for the Rascher Quartet.
You premiered Cyclic Movements with Norma Mastrogiacomo and a student cellist and percussionist in November that year. The profound effect this little piece had on my life as a composer is astounding. Saxophonists have become my closest allies. You have made them fearless champions of the newest music, while making sure they understand not only the tradition of the saxophone, but the importance of a thorough knowledge of all music. I could not be the composer that I am if it weren’t for you.
Thank you, Pat, for opening this door for me!
Here is a recording of the second movement of Cyclic Movements, which was premiered on November 19, 1995 Patrick Meighan and members of the FSU New Music Ensemble:
I will post a recording of tonight’s premiere of Flight in a few days.
Thank you again, Pat!