shopify
site analytics
Orchestra | STACY GARROP • COMPOSER

Orchestra Works


How to purchase/rent pieces published by Presser:
• Details and links are supplied below Presser's pieces on your purchasing options.

How to purchase/rent pieces published by Inkjar:
• Email Inkjar with your order details - click here. Inkjar will then send you an invoice. All purchases are made through Zelle, Chase QuickPay, or check. Instructions on how to do so will be on the invoice.
• Shipping costs are
not included in the pricing.
• Music ships
after full payment is received.

Chamber Orchestra


  • INNER DEMONS • 11’30” • string orchestra

    AUDIO
    Recorded sound courtesy of the U.S. Marine Band®. Use of the recorded sound does not constitute or imply endorsement by the Department of Defense, U.S. Marine Corps or U.S. Marine Band®. The terms U.S. Marine Band® and “The President’s Own®“ are registered trademarks of the U.S. Marine Corps, used with permission.

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2007

    COMMISSIONER
    Peter Austin and
    Music in the Loft Concert Series

    ORDERING SCORES

    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41495 • $28.99 • full score (small)
    416-41495L • $50.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416414950 • $28.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    PR.41641495L • $50.99 • full score (large) • click to order

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/inner-demons-score

    PROGRAM NOTES

    Inner Demons depicts a man as he loses his mind. This piece contains four themes: a tarantella, a demented waltz, a scherzo, and the Appalachian folk hymn “The Wayfaring Stranger”. The themes are stated quite briskly until arriving at the hymn. This theme consumes the man; it destroys his mind and he melts down. As his mind is slowly rebuilt, his thoughts become increasingly chaotic, until elements of all four themes are heard simultaneously. Inner Demons is an arrangement of the third and second movements (in this order) of my String Quartet No. 2: Demons and Angels.
    -S.G.
  • KRAKATOA • 19’ • solo viola, strings, percussion
    INSTRUMENTATION
    Solo viola, strings (suggested size: 12,10,8,6,4), timpani, 3 percussion

    Mvmt. 1: Imminent
    Mvmt 2: Eruption
    Mvmt. 3: Dormant

    VIDEO
    Carol Cook, viola, and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra; Stephen Alltop, conductor

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2017

    COMMISSIONER
    Barlow Endowment

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click to view product page

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_krakatoa_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES
    On May 20, 1883, a cloud of ash rose six miles high above Krakatoa, a volcano nestled on an island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. For the next two months, the volcano rumbled and spewed occasional dust and debris into the air, giving nearby inhabitants a spectacular show. On August 26th, Krakatoa turned deadly with an enormous blast that spewed pyroclastic flows (a blend of ash, lava, and gases) and pumice (lava that mixes with water and solidifies quickly into rock), and commenced a series of eruptions. On the next day, the volcano produced four enormous eruptions over four and a half hours. These eruptions were so loud (particularly the fourth) that they could be heard 3,000 miles away, and so devastating that two-thirds of the island sank back under the sea. The effects of Krakatoa’s eruptions were staggering: they sent shock waves into the atmosphere that circled the globe at least seven times; they triggered numerous tsunamis, the highest nearly 120 feet tall, which flooded and destroyed 165 coastal villages along with their inhabitants; and they propelled tons of ash roughly fifty miles up into the atmosphere. This ash blotted out the sun in Indonesia for days; it also lowered global temperatures for several years afterwards, and produced a wide range of atmospheric colors and phenomena. At least 36,000 people tragically lost their lives that fateful day. For the next forty-four years, Krakatoa was silent below the sea. This silence ended in 1927, when fishermen spotted steam and debris rising from the island. Within a year, a new volcano began to take shape above sea level. This new volcano is named Anak Krakatau, which translates to “child of Krakatoa,” and periodically experiences small eruptions.

    Krakatoa for solo viola, strings, and percussion follows the path of the volcano’s four main eruptions. In the first movement, Imminent, the violist uneasily plays as the orchestra (representing the volcano) shows ever-increasing signs of awakening. The orchestra bursts forth into the second movement, Eruption, where it proceeds through four eruptions that get progressively more cataclysmic. After the final and most violent eruption, the violist plays a cadenza that eases the volcano into the third movement, Dormant. In this final movement, the volcano slumbers, soothed by musical traits that I borrowed from traditional Javanese gamelan music: a cyclical, repetitive structure in which the largest gong is heard at the end of each cycle, and a musical scale loosely based on the Javanese pelog tuning system. The movement ends peacefully with an array of string harmonics, representing the intense and brilliantly colored sunsets generated by Krakatoa’s ash in the earth’s atmosphere.
    -S.G.
  • LO YISA GOY • 5’ • string orchestra

    VIDEO
    University of Utah Philharmonia
    Robert Baldwin, conductor
    Jacob Davis, viola

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2007; arrangement by composer for string orchestra available in fall 2020

    COMMISSIONER
    Chicago a cappella

    ORDERING SCORES

    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s rental ordering page

    PROGRAM NOTE

    I took on a few projects during the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic for musicians and ensembles that were seeking collaborations during the long months of isolation. The first of these projects was the transcribing of my choral work Lo Yisa Goy for instruments. In April, saxophonist Paul Nolen asked if I might have something that his Illinois State University students could learn and individually record their parts; he would then mix the tracks together and share online. Then, over the summer, conductor Robert Baldwin asked if I might have anything suitable for the string section of the University of Utah Philharmonia, one of the few large groups that can safely gather together if performers are carefully spaced out. Once I had transcribed the piece for saxophone ensemble, I found the music made a compelling string orchestra version as well.

    The text of Lo Yisa Goy is the Jewish prayer for peace:

    And they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks:
    nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.

    But they shall sit every man under his vine
    and under his fig tree;
    and none shall make them afraid:
    for the mouth of the Lord of hosts hath spoken it.


    -S.G.
  • PENELOPE WAITS • 5’50” • chamber orchestra
    INSTRUMENTATION
    2222 2110 harp, timpani, 2 perc, strings

    Penelope Waits is the second movement of the Mythology Symphony, and can be programmed as a stand-alone piece.


    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2013

    COMMISSIONER
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41512 • $15.99 • full score (small)
    416-41512L • $21.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental
    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_penelope_waits_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES
    This quiet movement represents Queen Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, as she patiently waits twenty years for her husband's return from fighting the Trojan Wars. Penelope herself is represented as an oboe. She is accompanied by a chamber orchestra (rather than the entire ensemble) as she keeps at bay the suitors who wish to marry her and inherit her riches.
    -S.G.
  • SHADOW • 9’ • chamber orchestra Enter description here.
    INSTRUMENTATION
    2222  2110 pno, timp, 1 perc, strings



    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Markand Thakar, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2001

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41265 • $24.95 • full score (small)
    416-41265L • $46.95 • full score (large)
    Parts rental
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416412650 • $24.95 • full score (small) • click to order
    PR.41641265L • $46.95 • full score (large) • click to order

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/shadow

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Shadow is a chronicle of my stay at the Yaddo artist colony in New York in summer 2001. Upon arriving, I met several visual artists and photographers whose work sparked my imagination. One artist used ordinary safety pins to create wall hangings and tree snakes; a painter studied a scene of nature and then painted it from memory so the final painting would contain bright blues, pinks, and greens not in Nature’s original. Since I wanted to explore ways to break out of my current composing methods, I spent time taking photographs of particular items — a statue’s reflection in the ripples of a fountain and small parts of stained glass window — to shift my mind into new directions. When pieced together on my studio wall, these pictures formed a collage of jagged bits of color and motion. To me, these suggested overlapping lines of counterpoint, shifting textures, and intersecting blocks of music. I also felt the need to write the piece out of order; parts of the piece got developed for a month or two, then a part that comes earlier would be worked out, then I would skip ahead to what I thought would be the end, and then go back to parts already developed to pull the music further along.
    The title is derived from a Yaddo story. Over a century ago, the Trask family bought the property that would later become Yaddo. When Mrs. Trask asked her four-year-old daughter what they should name the place, she replied Yaddo, because it rhymes with shadow. To the little girl, the word shadow represented death. Death constantly surrounded the Trask family, who ultimately lost all four children during their infancy or early childhood. As death surrounds us in unexpected ways throughout our lives, I could not escape learning of an old friend’s demise while at Yaddo. This experience shaded what I had originally planned to be a light, colorful work into something much darker.
    -S.G.
  • SPECTACLE OF LIGHT • 5’30” • baroque orchestra Enter description here.
    The commissioners have exclusive performing rights until 9/9/21 and exclusive recording rights until 9/9/22.

    INSTRUMENTATION
    1202  2200 harpsichord, baroque timpani, strings

    YEAR COMPOSED

    2020

    COMMISSIONER
    Music of the Baroque

    PROGRAM NOTES

    When Music of the Baroque commissioned me to compose a piece in honor of their 50th anniversary season, I was delighted that my new piece would premiere on a concert entitled Baroque Fireworks. But what aspect of Baroque fireworks should I explore? I found the answer on Music of the Baroque’s website. In perusing the webpage for the Baroque Fireworks concert, I was mesmerized by the page’s backdrop image, which looked to be a hand-drawn picture of a fireworks show. A little research uncovered that the image is an etching of a 1749 fireworks spectacle that took place on the River Thames in honor of Great Britain’s King George II. The king had signed the 1748 treaty at Aix-la-Chapelle that officially ended the War of Austrian Succession, and as was typical in this era, he wanted to celebrate with a grand show of music and fireworks. This is the very same event for which George Frideric Handel wrote Music for the Royal Fireworks.

    I was intrigued by the manner in which the etching’s artist represented the path of each individual firework, starting with an upward trajectory of a golden streak of light that inevitably bends and falls back towards the earth, blooming into glittering specks before flickering out. This inspired me to find other depictions and etchings of Baroque fireworks, as well as to view numerous modern-day fireworks shows on YouTube to study how they rise, bloom, and overlap with each other to create a rich, complex, and fleeting tapestry of color. I realized that fireworks and music share an ephemeral nature: they both delight our senses before fading into memory.

    Ultimately, I decided that Spectacle of Light would represent the experience of a fireworks show. The music starts with great anticipation as the crowd waits in darkness, then a single firework illuminates the sky, followed by a massive eruption of light, color, and sound. After this initial frenzied burst, the fireworks quiet down into a slower-paced, mesmerizing display of colors before building to a big, fiery ending. As a tip of the hat to Music of the Baroque, I worked a few salient elements of the baroque style into my own musical language, as well as found a few choice spots to add a few subtle hints of Handel’s Royal Fireworks.
    -S.G.
  • THUNDERWALKER • 12’ • chamber orchestra Enter description here.
    INSTRUMENTATION
    2222  2120 pno, timp, 2 perc, strings

    Movement 1:
    Ritual
    Movement 2:
    Invoking the Gods
    Movement 3:
    Summoned


    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Markand Thakar, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    1999

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41494 • $42.99 • full score (small)
    416-41494L • $76.95 • full score (large)
    Parts rental
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416414940 • $42.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    416-41494L • $76.95 • full score (large) • click to order

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_thunderwalker_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES

    Thunderwalker is built on two overlapping structures. The first encompasses the form of each movement: the first movement is a fugue, the second a ground bass (passacaglia), the third a scherzo-trio. The second derives from what the title suggested to me. I see a thunderwalker as a huge, god-like figure who lives in the sky and whose footsteps fall loudly among the clouds. If I were a member of a pre-modern earth society and wanted to get the god-like figure’s attention, I would go through a ritual cleansing ceremony (movement 1), then invoke him over and over again (movement 2) until I had successfully summoned him (movement 3).

    The two structures complement each other: a fugue is a ritual of sorts: it follows a strict set of procedures, much like what one might do in a cleansing ceremony. Passacaglias, by their very nature, repeat themselves endlessly, like one lost in chanting invocations. This particular passacaglia is interrupted after each repetitive cycle by chaotic, grumbling noises, suggesting the god awakening in the skies. The character of a scherzo-trio can range from light and quick to sinister or macabre. I imagine that if a god were summoned down to earth, he would appear good to some and sinister to others, and he would move swiftly about the earth’s surface.

    The entire work is spun from the opening fugue motive. The first movement focuses on developing the fugue materials, particularly a minor third–tritone interval pattern. The second movement takes a nine-note pitch pattern that was introduced in the first movement — a repeating interval pattern of two minor seconds followed by a major second — and turns it into a nine-chord pattern (each statement of this pattern equals one complete cycle of the passacaglia). Finally, the third movement mutates the nine-note pitch pattern into an eight-note pattern of alternating minor and major seconds known as the octatonic scale.
    -S.G.

Full Orchestra


  • THE BATTLE FOR THE BALLOT • 16’45” • full orchestra and narrator (live or pre-recorded)
    Stacy Garrop and Cristian Măcelaru introduce The Battle for the Ballot
    Virtual orchestra world premiere • August 9, 2020
    Cabrillo Festival Orchestra • Cristian Măcelaru, conductor • Julie James, narrator
    Produced, mixed, and edited by Svet Stoyanov
    The Cabrillo Festival has performance rights through the world premiere.

    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2020

    COMMISSIONER
    Commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Music Director & Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, with generous support from JoAnn Close and Michael Good. The Battle for the Ballot commemorates the centenary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920 granting women the right to vote.

    TEXTS BY
    American suffragists (in alphabetical order): Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, Carrie Chapman Catt, Carrie W. Clifford, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Adella Hunt Logan, Mary Church Terrell.

    PROGRAM NOTES
    Democracy in the United States has always been a messy process that is in a constant state of flux. When the nation’s Constitution was penned, the framers of the document didn’t differentiate voting rights between men and women. This led to various interpretations in the thirteen original colonies. For instance, while most of the colonies passed state laws that stipulated only a male adult who possessed property worth fifty pounds to vote, New Jersey’s laws allowed women to vote between 1776 and 1807, after which they were excluded. Women weren’t the only disenfranchised party in these states – slaves, men of particular religions, and men too poor to own the requisite amount of land were excluded as well. As the country progressed, wording was added to many states’ voting laws to ensure that white men (and a slim grouping at that) were the sole possessors of the vote.

    Women’s inability to vote carried significant consequences. They paid taxes with no legal voice in crafting the laws of the land (i.e. taxation without representation). They were barred from becoming politicians, formulating laws, and serving on juries. If a woman got married, she immediately lost custody of her wages, children, possessions, and property. Women grew progressively frustrated by these circumstances and began to organize. The first women’s rights convention was held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, New York, and officially launched the beginning of the women’s Suffrage movement. While additional conventions were held over the next several years, forward progress was halted during the Civil War (1861-1865), after which the cause was taken up again. Starting in the late 1860s, various Suffrage organizations formed, fell apart, and re-formed in pursuit of rallying women and men to the cause. Black Suffragists were not treated well by many of their white counterparts; as a result, they created organizations and clubs of their own. Even when the Nineteenth Amendment was passed in 1919 and ratified in 1920, many states immediately passed laws that blocked Black women from voting by one means or another; this situation wasn’t rectified until Congress passed the 1965 Voting Rights Act which federally protected all citizen’s right to vote and put an end to discriminatory practices throughout the country. Nonetheless, we still witness today how various parts of our nation try new methods to disenfranchise Black women and men from voting. For instance, in June 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court removed a significant section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act which enabled especially southern states to once again seek to disenfranchise primarily Black voters because they are no longer required to get the approval of the Justice Department when revising voting laws in their states. Not only is democracy a messy process, but it is something we must be vigilant in safekeeping for all of our citizens.

    The Battle for the Ballot features the voices of seven Suffragists, four of whom are Black (Carrie W. Clifford, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Adella Hunt Logan, and Mary Church Terrell) and three of whom are white (Jane Addams, Susan B. Anthony, and Carrie Chapman Catt). I excerpted lines from their speeches and writings, then interwove these lines together to form a single narrative that follows their reasoning for fighting so hard for the right to vote.

    Commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Music Director & Conductor Cristian Măcelaru, with generous support from JoAnn Close and Michael Good, 
    The Battle for the Ballot commemorates the centenary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1920 granting women the right to vote.
    -S.G.

    TEXTS (in order of use)
    Woman suffrage is coming – you know it.  
    (Carrie Chapman Catt)   

    The ballot! The sign of power, the means by which things are brought to pass, the talisman that makes our dreams come true! 
    (Carrie W. Clifford)  

    When I am asked to give the reasons why women should have the ballot, the reasons are too many to name. At every turn we are brought up to the desire to have a vote. 
    (Jane Addams)  

    It is the ballot that opens the schoolhouse and closes the saloon; that keeps the food pure and the cost of living low; that causes a park to grow where a dump-pile grew before. 
    (Carrie W. Clifford)  

    It is the ballot that regulates capitol and protects labor; that up-roots disease and plants health.  It is by the ballot we hope to develop the wonderful ideal state for which we are all so zealously working.
    (Carrie W. Clifford)  

    I don’t believe in urging a man to vote against his convictions. I don’t even believe in trying too hard to persuade him… But the women should have votes to represent themselves. 
    (Jane Addams)  

    How can anyone who is able to use reason, and who believes in dealing out justice to all God’s creatures, think it is right to withhold from one-half the human race rights and privileges freely accorded to the other half? (Mary Church Terrell)

    What a reproach it is to a government which owes its very existence to the loved freedom in the human heart that it should deprive any of its citizens of their sacred and cherished rights. 
    (Mary Church Terrell)  

    Justice is not fulfilled so long as woman is unequal before the law. 
    (Frances Ellen Watkins Harper)  

    Behold our Uncle Sam floating the banner with one hand, “Taxation without representation is tyranny,” and with the other seizing the billions of dollars paid in taxes by women to whom he refuses “representation.” 
    (Carrie Chapman Catt)  

    Behold him again, welcoming the boys of twenty-one and the newly made immigrant citizen to “a voice in their own government” while he denies that fundamental right of democracy to thousands of women public school teachers from whom many of these men learn all they know of citizenship and patriotism… 
    (Carrie Chapman Catt)  

    Is all this tyranny any less humiliating and degrading to women under our government today than it was to men one hundred years ago? 
    (Susan B. Anthony)  

    Seeking no favors because of our color, nor patronage because of our needs, we knock at the bar of justice, asking an equal chance. 
    (Mary Church Terrell)  

    Having no vote they need not be feared or heeded. The “right to petition” is good; but it is much better when well voted in. 
    (Adella Hunt Logan)  

    This much, however, is true now: the colored American believes in equal justice to all, regardless of race, color, creed or sex, …and longs for the day when the United States shall indeed have a government of the people, for the people… and by the people…even including the colored people. (Adella Hunt Logan)  

    Seek first the kingdom of the ballot, and all things else shall be given thee. (Susan B. Anthony)  

    If we once establish the false principle, that citizenship does not carry with it the right to vote in every state in this Union,…there is no end to the cunning devices that will be resorted to, to exclude one and another class of citizens from the right of suffrage. 
    (Susan B. Anthony)  

     The time for woman suffrage is come. The woman’s hour has struck. 
    (Carrie Chapman Catt)  

    And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping that the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ere long. 
    (Mary Church Terrell)   

    With courage, born of success achieved in the past, with a keen sense of responsibility which we shall continue to assume, we look forward to a future large with promise and hope. 
    (Mary Church Terrell)  

    We propose to fight our battle for the ballot –all peaceably, but nevertheless persistently through to complete triumph, when all United States citizens shall be recognized as equals before the law. 
    (Susan B. Anthony) 

    Watch Cabrillo Festival’s OPEN REHEARSALS:
    Cabrillo normally opens its daily orchestral rehearsals to the public, so they can watch Maestro Măcelaru, the musicians, and composers shape pieces in preparation for performance. In this spirit, the Festival recorded many of our Zoom sessions as we virtually recorded and pieced together the audio and video. Watch our process here:
    https://cabrillomusic.org/2020-season/open-rehearsals/

    BLOG POST on the genesis and development of the narration:
    Getting Real about Suffragists and Racism in Composing The Battle for the Ballot
  • BECOMING MEDUSA • 13’10” • full orchestra
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    Becoming Medusa is the first movement of the Mythology Symphony, and can be programmed as a stand-alone piece.


    AUDIO

    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2007

    COMMISSIONER
    Detroit Symphony Orchestra

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41620 • $36.99 • full score (small)
    416-41620L • $70.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_becoming_medusa_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES

    Most of us are familiar with the legend of Medusa as a hideous Gorgon with scales for skin, snakes for hair, and a gaze that turns to stone anyone who dares look into her eyes. Our first encounter of Medusa usually finds her on a deserted island with her two sisters just as Perseus arrives to cut off Medusa’s head. But what about Medusa’s origins? With some research, I unearthed several accounts of her original form. Several stories portray Medusa as a strikingly beautiful woman whose features were hideously transformed by the goddess Athena after she made the poor decision to seduce the god Poseidon in Athena’s temple. For its great dramatic appeal, it is this story of Medusa that I chose to set to music.
    Musically, Medusa is represented by a solo violin. When she first appears as a lovely woman (following a dissonant introduction indicating her final state), she is accompanied by harp, and her music is very lyrical. After Medusa is transformed, dissonance surrounds her: strings, woodwinds, and percussion represent the snakes on her head as they twist and turn around each other, while her piercing eyes are depicted by the discordant interval of a minor second. In between, we hear her sultry seduction of Poseidon and Athena’s furious reaction.
    The movement’s title has a double meaning. It suggests both Medusa’s original loveliness and her transformation. In addition to its common use to indicate a process of change, the word “becoming” also means “attractive.”
    -S.G.
  • BLURRR • 4’30” • full orchestra

    VIDEO
    Champaign Urbana Symphony Orchestra; Stephen Alltop, conductor

    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2003

    COMMISSIONER
    Minnesota Orchestra

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41493 • $23.99 • full score (small)
    416-41493L • $41.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental
    Sheetmusicplus.com
    PR.416414930 • $23.99 • full score (small) • click to order
    PR.41641493L • $41.99 • full score (large) • click to order

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_blurrr_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES

    Blurrr was commissioned by the Minnesota Orchestra as part of their outreach program to school children. In my piece Blurrr, I explored what I could do with a short, simple melody. After a brief introduction, you will hear a melody played by a solo clarinet. Every time you hear that melody after that, it will sound different from the original melody. For example, sometimes I lengthen the melody by repeating some of its notes or by adding new notes, and sometimes I shorten the melody. I also poked holes in the melody, so instead of hearing notes, you will hear silence. In addition, I occasionally added some harmony to to the melody (which means adding notes above or below the notes of the melody), so instead of hearing one note, you will hear two notes at the same time.

    I also experimented with orchestral color. Color means how I mix instruments together to create different, unique sounds. For example, a melody played by a flute and a clarinet will sound very different from a melody played by an oboe and violin. Be sure to listen to all the different instruments I use to play the melody. In addition, I have added some other interesting sounds, such as lots of trills (which are two alternating notes played very rapidly), downward glissandos in the strings, and even a police siren.
    -S.G.
  • FATES OF MAN, THE • 8’10” • full orchestra
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    The Fates of Man is the fourth movement of the Mythology Symphony, and can be programmed as a stand-alone piece.


    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2009

    COMMISSIONER
    Albany Symphony


    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41622 • $21.99 • full score (small)
    416-41622L • $36.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_the_fates_of_man_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES
    The three Sisters of Fate were minor goddesses who served as personifications of man’s inescapable destiny. Each Sister had a particular task: Klotho spun the thread of life; Lakhesis measured the thread; and Atropos cut the thread. While a man’s actions affected various aspects of his life, the length of his mortality was predetermined. The Fates of Man portrays a man who realizes he is nearing the end of his life. He appeals to the three Sisters to give him control over his own destiny, but as they have already measured and cut his thread, they deny his request. The movement ends with the man slowly dying away.
    -S.G.
  • GODDESS TRIPTYCH • 14’ • full orchestra Enter description here.
    The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has performance rights through the world premiere.

    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2020

    COMMISSIONER
    The League of American Orchestras with generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation

    PROGRAM NOTES
    The Hindu religion has a very ancient and rich history involving a wide array of gods and goddesses. My interest into Hindu stories began with my orchestral work Shiva Dances in which I musically portray Shiva, one of the principal gods, performing the Cosmic Dance in which he destroys the universe to allow a new universe to be born. When the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra approached me for a new work, my initial thought was to write a companion piece for Shiva Dances, but this time featuring the tale of a goddess. Over the course of my research, however, I discovered such a wealth of goddesses with fascinating stories that I decided to present three goddesses instead of just one. While researching, I came upon pictures for each of these goddesses that correspond with what I wished to represent musically; it struck me that I was building a musical “triptych,” to borrow the term from the art world.

    Movement 1: Durga Battles a Buffalo Demon
    Durga was created by the gods for the purpose of slaying a powerful buffalo demon that could not be killed by any male mortal or deity. She is typically pictured riding a lion, with her ten or eighteen arms carrying an assortment of weapons given to her by the gods. The movement begins with Durga issuing her battle cry. We hear the buffalo demon charging to meet her. The two engage in battle and ends with Durga slicing off the buffalo’s head.

    Movement 2: Lakshmi Sits in a Lotus Blossom
    Lakshmi is the goddess of beauty, fertility, and fortune (both spiritual and material). She is often pictured sitting in the middle of a lotus blossom (a symbol of purity), while holding additional blossoms in the upper two of her four hands. This quiet movement opens with Lakshmi sitting calmly and blissfully on a lotus blossom. In the middle of the movement, Lakshmi opens her lower two hands, and gold coins spill forth from her palms. The movement ends as it began when she returns to a blissful state.

    Movement 3: Ganga Cascades from the Heavens
    Ganga is the personification of the sacred river Ganges. The final movement opens as Ganga flows cheerfully around the heavens. She continues doing so until the god Vishnu (another principal god) kicks a hole in heaven’s wall. Ganga suddenly finds herself gushing through the hole and plummeting down uncontrollably towards earth. When Shiva realizes that Ganga is approaching with such force that she will destroy all that lies below her, he positions himself directly below Ganga to catch her waters in his hair. Shiva’s tactic succeeds; when Ganga reaches Shiva’s head, she becomes eternally tangled in his tresses. Shiva’s body breaks Ganga’s mighty water column into numerous streams that gently flow down his limbs to lightly fall upon the earth.

    Goddess Triptych was commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with the generous support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.

    -S.G.
  • LOVELY SIRENS, THE • 5’30” • full orchestra Enter description here.
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    The Lovely Sirens is the third movement of the Mythology Symphony, and can be programmed as a stand-alone piece.


    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2009

    COMMISSIONER
    Albany Symphony

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41621 • $26.99 • full score (small)
    416-41621L • $48.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_the_lovely_sirens_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES
    The Sirens were sea nymphs, usually pictured as part woman and part bird, who lived on a secluded island surrounded by rocks. Their enchanting song was irresistible to passing sailors, who were lured to their deaths as their ships were destroyed upon the rocks. The Lovely Sirens presents three ideas: the Sirens’ beautiful song, an unfortunate group of sailors whose course takes them near the island, and the disaster that befalls the sailors. The sailors’ peril is represented by the Morse code S.O.S. signal (three dots, three dashes, and three dots—represented musically by short and long rhythms). The S.O.S. signal grows increasingly more insistent and distressed as it becomes obvious that the sailors, smitten with the voices of the Sirens, are headed for their demise.
    -S.G.
  • MYTHOLOGY SYMPHONY • 40’ • full orchestra Enter description here.
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    Movement 1:
    Becoming Medusa
    Movement 2:
    Penelope Waits
    Movement 3:
    The Lovely Sirens

    Movement 4:
    The Fates of Man
    Movement 5:
    Pandora Undone


    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2007-2013

    COMMISSIONERS
    Detroit Symphony, Albany Symphony, and the Chicago College of the Performing Arts

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41616 • $77.99 • full score (small)
    416-41616L • $167.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_mythology_symphony_issuu


    PROGRAM NOTES
    The Mythology Symphony was progressively written over several years, starting with a commission in 2007 by the Detroit Symphony for Becoming Medusa. The Albany Symphony followed in 2009 with commissions for The Lovely Sirens and The Fates of Man. The Symphony was completed when the Chicago College of Performing Arts of Roosevelt University commissioned Penelope Waits and Pandora Undone. The entire symphony received its world premiere by the Chicago College of Performing Arts Orchestra in January of 2015 under the baton of Alondra de la Parra.

    All program notes are written by the composer.

    MOVEMENTS (click on each title for program notes and a perusal score)
  • PANDORA UNDONE • 7’20” • full orchestra Enter description here.
    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 harp, piano, timpani, 3 perc, strings

    Pandora Undone is the fifth movement of the Mythology Symphony, and can be programmed as a stand-alone piece.


    AUDIO
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor
    Mythology Symphony • Cedille Records CDR 90000 160 • Purchase recording

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2013

    COMMISSIONER
    Chicago College of the Performing Arts

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Click here to visit Presser’s ordering page
    416-41513 • $23.99 • full score (small)
    416-41513L • $43.99 • full score (large)
    Parts rental

    ONLINE PERUSAL SCORE
    https://issuu.com/theodorepresser/docs/garrop_pandora_undone_issuu

    PROGRAM NOTES

    This movement is, in turns, both lighthearted and serious. The music depicts a young, naïve Pandora who, while dancing around her house, spies a mysterious box. She tries to resist opening it, but her curiosity ultimately gets the best of her. When she cracks the lid open and looks inside, all evils escape into the world. Dismayed by what she has done, she looks inside the box once more. She discovers hope still in the box and releases it to temper the escaped evils and assuage mankind's new burden.
    -S.G.
  • SHIVA DANCES • 9’ • full orchestra Enter description here.
    Grant Park Music Festival hold exclusive commercial recording rights until 9/30/20.

    INSTRUMENTATION
    3333 4331 pno, harp, timp, 3 perc, strings

    YEAR COMPOSED
    2019

    COMMISSIONER
    Grant Park Music Festival

    ORDERING SCORES
    Theodore Presser Company
    Available in fall 2020

    PROGRAM NOTES
    When Grant Park Music Festival commissioned me to write a piece in honor of Carlos Kalmar’s 20th anniversary as Principal Conductor, I began searching for a topic suitable for this celebratory occasion. During this brainstorming process, I came across pictures of bronze statues of Shiva, one of the three main gods in Hinduism, which depict Shiva in his role as the Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance. Shiva is performing the Cosmic Dance in order to destroy the universe and allow for a new universe to be born. The concept of rebirth and renewal was very appealing to me in a celebratory work, as was the prospect of writing music that would have Maestro Kalmar dancing on the podium as he conducts.

    In these statues, every aspect is symbolic: Shiva is surrounded by a ring of fire, which represents the cosmos locked in its eternal cycle of destruction and rebirth; he lifts his left leg high and his right knee is bent, frozen in a posture of ecstatic dancing; his right foot is firmly placed on a demon, embodying the defeat of ignorance; his four arms are raised in various functions (i.e. one hand holds a drum to accompany his dance, while another clasps divine fire which he will use to destroy the universe); and the river Ganges flows through his wildly streaming hair. Throughout the dance, Shiva’s face remains tranquil.

    Shiva Dances consists of four sections, each with its own distinct music. In the first section, Shiva slowly awakens from deep meditation as the sun sets on the old universe. The second section represents Shiva performing the Cosmic Dance in the dead of night. Shiva starts the dance slowly, but as he dances faster and faster, the universe begins to break apart from the energy generated. When the tempo has increased to a feverish pitch, Shiva simultaneously destroys the old universe while creating a new universe in its place. In the third section, Shiva observes the young universe as it shimmers and bubbles with energy in the pre-dawn hours of a new day. The piece concludes with the fourth section, in which Shiva sees the sun’s rays break into view, representing that a new universe has officially begun.

    I drew inspiration from four North Indian rāgas (scales) to create the musical language of the piece. However, for ease of tuning, I chose to use Western tunings instead of traditional Indian tunings, since the North Indian tuning system contains 66 pitches within an octave, compared to our Western 12-pitch octave. Rāgas are traditionally associated with specific times of day, so I chose my four rāgas accordingly. In the first section, I use the Dīpaka rāga, which is performed at sunset; this relates to the sun setting on the old universe. The second section features two rāgas: Mālakosha, to be played at midnight, and Shankarā, an end-of-night rāga that is associated with the Cosmic Dance. These two rāgas are used to represent Shiva’s dance and the universe’s destruction. The third section features the Lalitā rāga, which is performed at dawn before the sun rises on the new universe. The fourth and final section also uses the Lalitā rāga, but with a twist: this rāga is missing the 5th scale degree above its starting pitch. In Indian rāga, each pitch has a specific meaning, and the 5th scale degree represents the sun. In this final section, I layer the 5th scale degree into Lalitā rāga to represent that the sun has risen on a new era.

    -S.G.