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Early last summer, my then five-year-old daughter became very interested in astronomy. She read every book in the library on the topic and became obsessed with the idea of seeing a falling star. After scanning the night sky for a few months with no success, she began to give up hope. Fortunately for all of us, the annual Perseids meteor shower—often referred to as the “Tears of St. Lawrence”—was quickly approaching. One clear mid-August night, I woke my daughter a bit after midnight. Without telling her what was to come, we quietly made our way outside. After anxiously waiting for what felt like forever, we saw our first falling star together! In addition to the obvious sense of excitement, however, I couldn’t help but feel a bit nostalgic, because I knew that in a few short weeks, my daughter would be going to school for the first time. As we watched the stars, we took turns telling stories as we wondered what the next year would bring. Two hours and countless meteors later, I finally convinced my daughter to return to bed. Tears of St. Lawrence was inspired by the variety of emotions experienced during that memorable night.
A minimum of one per part plus piano and percussion is ideal for performance. However, feel free to experiment with the instrumentation as needed. Additionally, key chimes are homemade instruments, similar in effect to wind chimes.
- Performed by the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Wind Symphony at the 2016 Midwest Clinic (original instrumentation)
- Florida (FBA) state music list – Grade 3 (original instrumentation)
- Wisconsin state music list – Class B (original instrumentation)
McFarland High School 9th Grade Concert Band; Joseph Hartson, conductor