Georgia Stitt and Jason Robert Brown Will Debut Orchestral Children's Piece, Waiting For Wings, in Cincinnati
By Michael Gioia
Waiting For Wings, a new orchestral piece co-written by Jason Robert Brown and Georgia Stitt based on Lois Ehlert's children's book of the same name, will have its world premiere, commissioned by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, April 20.
The 12-minute piece will begin at 10:30 AM, part of The Cincinnati Pops' Lollipops Family Concerts. John Morris Russell is the conductor, and Thane Maynard will narrate.
"I'd say it's lush and energetic with many robust melodies," Stitt explained to Playbill.com via email. "We knew the audience was going to be made up of kids and their parents, so we wanted to give them musical ideas they could remember. The text of the book is spoken throughout the piece; we have the fantastic Thane Maynard (director of the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden) narrating, so it lives somewhere in the world of 'A Lincoln Portrait' meets 'Peter And The Wolf.'"
The Cincinnati Pops approached the husband-and-wife composing team about adapting the book, which details how caterpillars become butterflies. Stitt added that the Pops "commissioned this piece with the hopes of it becoming a perennial in their family concerts."
"We have two daughters of our own, and over the years we've composed little songs for them, little melodies to help them learn how to spell their names, things like that," said Stitt. "So we used those melodies in the foundation of the piece. Both of our daughters listened with wide eyes and recognized their tunes. So that's pretty special. Beyond our own family, though, it was fun to use all of the colors of the orchestra to portray such imagistic ideas — creepy caterpillars, cocoons tearing open, butterflies soaring through the air, gardens in bloom, etc. I look forward to being in the audience and watching the kids watch the orchestra!"
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