Dan Locklair’s Requiem receives its premiere on November 1, in Winston-Salem, NC, as part of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church’s All Saints Day celebration. Organist and choirmaster John Cummins leads the nine-movement, 45-minute work. Written for four soloists, SATB chorus, strings and orchestra, Locklair’s Requiem is set in English and uses elements of the Latin Mass, along with non-traditional solo movements of additional Biblical texts of comfort and assurance.
“As an only child, I was very close to both of my parents,” Locklair shares. “The Requiem was composed over a two-year period of time from 2012-2014, [and] written in memory of my parents, Archie and Hester (Helms) Locklair… I will [always] be grateful to each of them for their deep, unselfish love and ongoing influence on my life. May they rest in peace and may this Requiem be a small, yet fitting, memorial to their rich lives.”
Also premiering in November — on the 7th — is Locklair’s chamber work Initial Memories (A Divertimento for Organ & Wind Quintet) at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Organist Christine Clewell joins fellow IUP faculty members for the first performance of this four-movement, 17-minute piece. It was commissioned by the university in honor of its newly installed Ronald G. Pogorzelski and Lester D. Yankee Memorial Organ.
“‘Divertimento’ is an Italian word meaning ‘to amuse,’” Locklair explains. “It designates a popular musical genre rooted in the 18th century. The term originally connoted a multi-movement composition for small ensemble that was intended to entertain…Because I am a composer who has always been inspired by extra-musical stimuli, I was delighted to discover that there are many significant American writers whose lives and work have been, like this organ, rooted in the State of Pennsylvania. Thus, each movement of Initial Memories is inspired and titled by a quote from a different Pennsylvania author.”