Imagining Peace

Grade 4+ | Duration 15:00

The Peace with Justice Forum at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis has focused its efforts in conjunction with the recent renovation of the church into a ministry called "Empowering Conversations about Peace with Justice." The Minnesota Symphonic Winds was approached by Dick Hilden, a member of the church, this ministry, and the band with the notion of becoming involved with a concert that would support these efforts, as well as celebrate the renovations and mark the 40th anniversary of the ensemble. Upon further discussion, the notion of a commissioned work to be premiered at the concert became an exciting possibility and it was pursued. Imagining Peace became a work that involves two narrators sharing quotations from throughout time and from around the world that focus on the subjects of peace, justice, and freedom. It is designed so that future ensembles can tailor the work with different quotations should they desire to do so.

Composing this work was an engaging journey of discovery as its structure and content came into focus. A search for appropriate quotations to consider from great thinkers and common folk alike of various time periods, cultures, genders, races, and sexual orientations was an engaging process, and it was heightened by the submissions of material by band members who took an interest in the composition. There were many – ultimately more than could be incorporated into the composition. A guiding exhortation emerged, perhaps a subliminal response that I sensed be whispered and at times shouted at me: “We ought to be listening!” People have been sending out a call for a peaceful existence grounded in justice and freedom throughout the ages, yet their words seem to have drifted off into space without enough people heeding them. Indeed, we ought to be listening!

Imagining Peace was premiered by the Minnesota Symphonic Winds on October 28, 2018 at a performance held within Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rev. Dr. Chris Bellefeuille and Rev. Rob Lubben narrated the performance, with the composer conducting.  The accompanying recording is of the premiere performance.


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