A BRIEF MESSAGE FROM MAKANDA, ILLINOIS (2005)
for unaccompanied Choir [5.5’]
Words of the late Senator Paul Simon, compiled by Sheila Simon and Frank Stemper
In his remarks at the 2003 funeral of Paul Simon, the Late Senator Edward Kennedy said that all politicians “claim to be honest, but Senator Simon actually was.” Teddy went on to say that Simon also had “…a relentless way of successfully getting his way and passing appropriate legislation; he did so because he was always on the right side.” Paul Simon lived in the very small town of Makanda, Illinois. After a long career as a journalist, he rose in politics through the state level to the U.S. Senate and was a major presidential candidate in 1988. He is known for his bow ties!
His politics were neither conservative or liberal, but informed and compassionate. The text of this brief choral piece is from some of the late Senator’s writings. His daughter, Sheila, a Law Professor at Southern Illinois University and a former Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, helped me put it together.
The 2005 world premiere took place in Chihuahua, Mexico by the Coro de Bellas Artes, Gustavo Flores – Music Director.
VOLTI, Robert Geary – Mus. Dir. and Mark Winges – Composer In Residence, gave the American premieres in Mill Valley, Oakland, and San Francisco.
The premiere in Sen. Simon’s home state of Illinois occurred 2011 by The SIU Concert Choir in the state Capital, Springfield (Hoogland Center) and Chicago (Symphony Center).