Sunday, March 11th, 2018 – The NACUSA Mid-South Regional performance at LeBaron Recital Hall, University of Montevallo saw Dr. Alan Goldspiel perform repertoire in preparation for his performance at the NACUSA National Conference. Earlier in the year Goldspiel’s composition Yom HaShoah was selected for the national conference.
The following weekend, on Saturday, March 17th Goldspiel traveled to Kansas City, Missouri for the NACUSA National Conference to perform in Gano Chapel at William Jewell College.
During the Saturday night concert filled almost exclusively with electronic music, Classical Guitarist, Goldspiel performed two pieces. In the first half of the program he played a piece written by Joe L. Alexander titled ‘Sipsey Sweet’.
When describing the inspiration for the piece, Alexander stated “According to Wikipedia, the Sipsey River is a 145-mile-long swampy low-lying river in west central Alabama. The Sipsey is surrounded by some exceptional wetland habitat, and originates near Glen Allen, and discharges into the Tombigbee River near Vienna.”
Alexander continued by saying “For me, I know it as a swamp located between my home in Tuscaloosa and where I work, Columbus, Mississippi. I wrote Sipsey Sweet for my dear friend, Alan Goldspiel, in the summer and fall of 2017 as my commission piece for the 2017 Mississippi Music Teachers Association conference meeting.” Sipsey Sweet consists of three movements: I. Moderato/Allegro, II. Andante, III. Allegro.
In the second half of the program, Goldspiel performed his solo guitar composition Yom HaShoah. When asked about the inspiration for the piece he stated:
“Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, memorializes those who died in the Shoah, which means catastrophic or utter destruction in Hebrew and refers to the atrocities that were committed against the Jewish people during World War II. Here, the guitar scordatura, rhythmic figures, and melodic motives express the emotions experienced in such memories.”
Continuing Goldspiel said, “For me, it still feels necessary to remember and remind. Jewish tradition requires the lighting of a 24-hour candle during periods of mourning. Burning a specifically designed Yellow Candle mourns the Six Million who perished and keeps their memory alive. The music is strongly influenced by the song Es Brent (It Burns) by Mordechai Gebirtig. Hear My Prayer musically petitions us to honor and remember all the souls who died in the Holocaust. Woven into this movement is the Sh’main, one of its most familiar musical representations. The major/minor mode-shifts juxtapose hope (never again) and sadness in a most fundamental way. The March of the Living brings students from around the world to Poland, where they explore the remnants of the Holocaust in a silent march from Auschwitz to Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp complex built during World War II. Set in 7/8, the music’s asymmetry reflects the walking in those steps learning of such things.”
Yom HaShoah’s three movements are: I. Yellow Candle, II. Hear My Prayer, and III. March of the Living.
During his visit in Kansas City, Dr. Goldspiel visited the National World War I Museum and Memorial with the President of NACUSA, Greg A. Steinke.
For more information about Joe L. Alexander click here to view his website.
For more information about NACUSA click here!