- Texas PML – Grade 4
- North Carolina MPA State Music List – Grade 6
Winner of the 2015 ABA Sousa/Ostwald Award
The melodic material for Only Light originally came from Beneath a Canvas of Green, a large-scale work of mine written for wind ensemble. At the time, I was not quite comfortable with how this music fit within the larger work—it passed by much too quickly—and I knew it was something I would eventually like to revisit.
In the fall of 2012, one of my best friend’s mother lost her battle with cancer. A year later, while thinking of ideas for what was eventually to be Only Light, I found myself thinking him and his family quite often. At about this same time, I was on social media late one night—procrastinating rather than composing—and discovered a post written by another friend, written in reference to his wife. Here is an excerpt:
A timeline. Oh, the dark places I’ve dwelt this morning. The “hows,” “what ifs,” and “whys” pouring over me. But, I digress. There is no timeline at this time. There is only, “we aren’t done with you yet.” There is, “we’ve got more things to try.” There is, in a word, hope. I need me some of that. Toni has pointed out that there are times that I can find the dark cloud behind any silver lining. (Had you only known me before I met you, young lady. Now that Tim could really find darkness where there was only light.) The medical team is set to battle on.
In an instant, I was reminded of how delicate life is and how things can change at a moment’s notice. Reflecting upon these events inspired me to expand upon and ultimately finish this previously composed music. Only Light is meant to convey a sense of hope and healing.
the University of Iowa Symphony Band (Dr. Richard Mark Heidel, Director)