“When Emily Bondarenko first played through her piano part in her high school chamber orchestra’s newest piece, the jagged melody and chaotic measures did not seem to go together,” writes Vikki Ortiz Healy in Tuesday’s (12/5) Chicago Tribune. “But [at the] first rehearsal of the piece called ‘Solaces,’ the seemingly disconnected parts masterfully blended into a moving, turbulent composition [written] to help the school’s students and staff memorialize and mourn three teachers they had lost” at Buffalo Grove High School northwest of Chicago. The teachers had died due to health issues. With the school in mourning, “Orchestra director Elizabeth Bennett [commissioned] a piece to be composed in honor of the high school. After an anonymous donor stepped up to pay the $1,500 to $2,000 fee, Bennett hired Russell Scarbrough, a New York-based composer and arranger [to write] a piece that would convey … sorrow and grief … but … also offered hope [and would be] written in the keys of B, G, H and S—Buffalo Grove High School’s initials.” The chamber orchestra will perform Solaces on January 21, together with artwork and poetry also created for the occasion.

Posted December 8, 2017