Jenni Brandon’s “Going to the Sun: Snapshots from Glacier National Park for oboe and bassoon” Performed by Rachel Gripp

Rachel Gripp, oboe performed “Going to the Sun: Snapshots from Glacier National Park for oboe and bassoon” by Jenni Brandon at Ball State University, School of Music. She was accompanied by Michael Seregow, piano. The virtual performance was on November 20, 2020 at 7:30 p. m., in the Hahn Recital Hall.

Rachel’s entire recital was:    

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)   Album of Five Pieces

                                                            I. Reverie

                                                           II. Arabesque

 W.A. Mozart (1756-1791)    Oboe Concerto in C Major, K. 314

                                                             I. Allegro aperto

                                                             II. Adagio non troppo

                                                             III. Rondo: Allegretto

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)  Sonata for Oboe and Piano

                                                               I. Elegie

Jenni Brandon (b. 1977)        Going to the Sun: Snapshots from Glacier 

                                                   National Park for Oboe and Bassoon

                                                              I.            Early morning on the Road

                                                              II.            Fifty miles begin…

                                                              III.            Sunrise on Lake McDonald

                                                              IV.            Driving the Loop

                                                             V.            The Weeping Wall

                                                             VI.          Stepping onto Jackson Glacier  Overlook

                                                             VII.        Jackson Glacier

                                                              VIII.            Sunset at the end of The Road

with Sierra Watson, bassoon

The following are the composer notes on “Going to the Sun: Snapshots from Glacier National Park for oboe and bassoon” and how it explores the beauty of Glacier National Park in Montana.

When Jennifer Gookin Cavanaugh approached me about writing a work, she told me how much she has always loved visiting the park and that it had been a family tradition for many years. Both Jennifer and Elizabeth Ball Crawford, who premiered this work, taught at the University of Montana at the time of writing this work. I thought it fitting to write a work that highlighted the performers’ close connection to the area in which they lived.

As I began to spend time with hiking books, topographical maps, and pictures taken by many visitors to the park over the years, I knew that a work about a journey through this park would be a wonderful way to share not only Jennifer’s memories, but also the many travelers on the Going to the Sun Road. Those fifty miles across the park bring the visitor in contact with lakes, weeping walls, animals, meadows, the Continental Divide, and the power of the glacier that now moves closer and closer to extinction due to climate change.

The work is in one movement; however, it is broken into eight sections. I liked the idea of telling these stories like looking back at snapshots you might take on your vacation to remind you of these natural and manmade wonders

The oboe and bassoon are great story-telling instruments, lending their voices and character to each of these sections, painting the landscape with texture, range, and song. And while the vastness and beauty of this park is too big to capture in any work of music, it is my hope that the listener can travel this road with us through this natural wonder and remember the importance of supporting our National Parks.