This piece was commissioned by Ethan Neal, a student at the University of Kentucky, for a new music project to raise money for cancer research, and dedicated to all those who have fought a battle with cancer. It was premiered on August 22, 2021 by Ethan Neal at The Episcopal Church of the Holy Trinity in Georgetown, KY.
Solemn Fanfare has three main ideas or themes: the opening fanfare material and two hymns: Christ the Victorious (RUSSIAN HYMN) and Be Still, My Soul (FINLANDIA). The piece is grandiose throughout and is meant to express the triumph of victory over cancer, whether in this life or the next. The solo trumpet presents RUSSIAN HYMN in an embellished and rhythmically altered manner within the flourishes of the opening and closing sections. In the middle section, FINLANDIA provides the strong chordal foundation above which the solo trumpet adds its triumphant yet sometimes dissonant fanfares, recalling the struggle and the pain that are part of the journey.
Christ the Victorious, give to your servants rest with your saints in the regions of light.
Grief and pain ended, and sighing no longer, there may they find everlasting life.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side. Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to your God to order and provide; in every change God faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: your best, your heavenly friend through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.