Blooming Lavender (2007)
Blooming Lavender was composed for the 2006-07 Kids Compose Project at Indiana University, and was premiered at a concert that featured melodies written by elementary students. Two melodies are presented: "Blooming Ideas" by Sarah Williams and "Lavender" by Agnes Zhu. I wanted the students to choose the instruments for their melodies as much as possible. So, we met, I demonstrated a bunch of possibilities, and then we decided to use the strings and flutes for the themes. From there, we mixed in other instruments, as though blending shades of paint together. For instance, after the fanfare opening, the flute’s first statement of "Lavender" is paired with the vibes.
Both tunes have a sense of growth, and they complement each other when played simultaneously. In fact, both imply nearly the same harmonies. This made it very easy to create an overall blossoming effect. After each tune is heard in its entirety separately, I arranged bits and pieces of them into canon-like passages. Choirs of instruments gradually enter and echo each other, until the entire orchestra plays the tunes together.