Grade:Year: 2017  DURATION: 7 min


Occasionally, I find certain works to be harder to write about than others. Even long after the piece is completed, the thought of describing the emotional and personal significance in a brief program note seems almost impossible. Such is the case for Solace in the Equinox...

   Solace in the Equinox was written in memory of my late friend Tony Wood. Tony and I became friends in August of 2013; just three short weeks later, he was diagnosed with stage-IV pancreatic cancer. After a brave thirteen-month battle, he passed away in September of 2014 surrounded by his friends and loved ones. Amongst the many characteristics of his personality we all remember, he was known for living every day to the fullest and having a positive impact on every person he met. He put a smile on the face of everyone, gave to those in their time of need, and kept a strong faith despite the trials and challenges he, his wife Debbie, and daughters Emily and Olivia had been facing.  

   It wasn't until I was approached by Carolina Perez in 2016 that I felt ready to write something to honor him and all that he meant to me in our short, but meaningful, friendship.  As I began to think of the title, I remembered that the day before his funeral happened to be the fall equinox. On that day, I remember finding comfort in letter he had written just months prior where he talked about the fragility of life and how we must try not to grieve, but rather rejoice in the fact that a place has been prepared for us to see each other again. I also found comfort in the metaphoric meaning of the fall equinox- where we know that, from this point on, there will be a little more darkness in our day than light; however, we know that the world will keep spinning and, over time, we will still experience light, joy, and happiness."


Cedar Ridge High School (Josh Cvijanovic, director), Fred J. Carnage Middle School (Matthew Pellas, director), Green Hope High School (Brian Myers, director), Hoover High School (Ryan Fitchpatrick, director), Hillsborough High School (Nicholas Clipperton, director), Ligon GT Magnet Middle School (Renee Todd, director), Lincolnton High School (Joshua Belvin, director), Middle Creek High School (Andrew Weiss, director), North Lincoln High School (Kevin Still, director), Orange High School (Andy Carter, director), Scarsdale High School (Jason Noble, director), The University of Alabama (Randall Coleman, director), West Forsyth High School (Patricia Hughes Ball, director), Wheatmore High School (Jennifer Beck, director)

Commissioned by a consortium organized by Carolina Perez (Eastern Randolph High School Bands, NC).