Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama
University of Alabama
Brian Kittredge Rehearsing _Voices of Freedom_ in BirminghamALI arrived in the deep South yesterday to snow storm shut down big chunks of Birmingham.  While my hosts have asked me if I brought this weather with me from Upstate New York, I assumed that they arranged it for me to make me feel welcome. I never want to underestimate the power of Southern hospitality.

Despite the weather, a bunch of high school singers and their teachers arrived and rehearsals for my new piece have begun.  The UAB college choir is ready with the new piece and they have divided up the high school students into intensive sectional rehearsals this morning. After lunch, I will get my first taste of the new piece with the big choir…can’t wait.

Christine, one of the music teachers asked me this morning if bringing a new piece of music into the world was like bring a baby into the world.  Actually, the parenting metaphors are striking.

As a composer, I play a central role in the creation and initial nurturing of this new musical life. Then I have to put that new life in the hands of others for it to grow and mature.  I see my son and daughter through the eyes of a father.   When they get inspired by a teacher, a coach, a musical director, I see new sides of them.  It is similar with new music. Often times, conductors and performers will find insights in my music that I didn’t intend. Many times, these insights are better than my original intentions.  So, music and children grow in new ways that often go beyond the limits of a composers and parents.

Can’t wait to hear what these marvelous university and high school musicians with this new musical life, “Voices of Freedom.”