The Bach Orchestra will perform a piece commissioned by CVYO in honor of Jen Bellefeuille’s years of leadership.
The piece, “A Jog, Thought, and Drive,” was written by Nathan Crowe, a senior composition student and French horn player at St. Olaf College from Wheaton, IL. Next year Nathan will begin graduate study in composition at the San Francisco Conservatory.
Nathan writes this about the piece:
This work expresses sentiments of departure and gratitude toward Northfield and the greater Cannon Valley area. It’s made up of three sections, each of which is reflected in the title. The first section, “a jog,” delivers our materials in a straightforward manner, granting a perspective of having frequented the greater part of residential areas and trails of Northfield on foot. I have always found this exercise to be simple and yet vigorous in its own right. The overall character of this section, therefore, is energetic, exacted in what would be a practical tempo for jogging and reflecting this sense of rigorous simplicity.
After the most vibrant and intense iteration so far of these opening materials, the work then steps back, transitioning into the second section: “a thought.” During my years here, the practices surrounding jogging developed from being a habitual need or impulse to something calmer and more edifying. What it began to lend to me was a way to contemplate or wrestle with my thoughts during my personal growth. It is with this sense that the work moves through this section, taking on a more moderate pace and introducing some newer or more conflicted musical content. It delves into figures that are at times agitated, even wistful, and yet contemplative and lyrical as a confident, hopeful light sees us through.
The third and final section, “a drive,” jumps suddenly into gear with an imitative diversion between each section of the orchestra. As I drive through the Cannon Valley area alone, I find myself thinking the most deeply about my future. These musings often overflow and become clearer at high speeds in departure or return on the road. This ever-determined, insistent attitude defines the musical content of this section: it’s that home stretch in nonstop cruise control at 70mph, full of anticipation towards an inevitable and intense arrival. Despite whatever new challenges I might face in the coming years, this place has granted me a sense of conviction for how I might move forward. It is my hope that this same sense of determination can be shared by those undergoing a change in their lives.