concerto for hope

for tenor saxophone and an orchestra that sounds like America

This music was inspired by Hope, Arkansas-born Bill Clinton’s call for a government that “looks like America” when he became President of the United States back in 1993. It also reflects the title and message of a book that was published a few years later by then First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton—It Takes a Village. Concerto for Hope is a concerto for tenor saxophone and an orchestra that “sounds like America.” That is, an orchestra comprised of instruments that can effectively reflect the aesthetics of musical genres that were either created in the United States or which flourished here. The orchestra is made up of fifty musicians to reflect the fifty states. This orchestra has 37 strings and 13 “other” instruments (a sonic parallel to the stripes on our flag). The five winds—a flute, a clarinet, two trumpets and a trombone—can be found in most orchestras but are also instruments that have played key roles in jazz, klezmer, marching bands, and salsa. The other instruments—accordion, banjo, slide guitar, electric guitar, two drum sets, and a set of timbales (the drum set found in Latin ensembles)—reflect the cultural diversity of American music.”