Uplifting concert work centered around an exuberant main theme. Stimulates a wide variety of emotional affects including wonder, nobility, chaos, and triumph.

Orchestra | Grade 4 | 9:30

Performance materials are available on J.W. Pepper:

Performance by Kevin Sütterlin and the Concordia College Orchestra, May 5th, 2018

About the piece

Legacy was commissioned for the Concordia College Orchestra by Bruce Vieweg, who at that time was the college’s Chief Information Officer. Despite not being part of the music department, Bruce was (and still is) an ardent supporter of the arts at Concordia, and of all the students and faculty that participate in them. He could reliably be found in attendance at every ensemble concert and faculty or student recital, always delighting in the music and encouraging the performers. Bruce originally intended this piece to be a gift to the Orchestra on the occasion of his retirement, set for the spring of 2017. True to his dedication to the Concordia community, however, Bruce decided to stay on for another year. While Legacy was premiered as originally planned, it was performed again in 2018 and has since become a recurring feature of Concordia’s annual Commencement Concert.

In a broader sense, Legacy honors all who strive to make a lasting positive impact on their community. It is dedicated to those who seek to spread joy, kindness, compassion, and encouragement wherever they go. For the inspiration for this music, and for any joy that it may bring to its performers and audiences, I give all glory to God.

Musically speaking, Legacy elicits a wide spectrum of emotions. On the whole, it’s probably the most unashamedly joyful piece I’ve yet written, which is a fitting tribute to Bruce. It begins with a mysterious introduction, led by the strings and solo clarinet, that travels through nervous anticipation, cautious wonder, and pastoral contentment. This soon opens upon the exuberant main theme of the work, which repeats in a lighter, dancelike variation, returning at last to the pastoral mood as if contemplating a full day spent with good friends. Now the introductory material recurs, this time in the solo horn, blossoming into the brass section and subsequently the whole orchestra to reveal the fullness of its nobility and majesty. Some weather follows: at first only a light sprinkle, but quickly billowing into a full-blown storm, with swirling woodwinds and pounding percussion and low brass. The storm abates, however, and the main theme returns in a triumphant finale.


Another key figure in the life of this piece is Kevin Sütterlin, conductor of the Concordia Orchestra. Kevin graciously undertook the process of preparing a brand-new work during his first year on the job, while simultaneously completing his doctoral studies. In early 2017, I had recently started at a full-time job of my own and was struggling to find time to finish the commission. After the premiere, I entered what would become a two-year creative drought and lost nearly all contact with the music community I had called home for the past decade. During that time, Kevin became an adoptive father to the piece, advocating for it and nurturing it in ways that I could never have done on my own. In addition to establishing a place for it on subsequent commencement concerts, Kevin brought Legacy on the orchestra’s 2018 tour of Greece, where it was a crowd favorite.

No acknowledgements for this piece would be complete without the legacy of Jane Linde Capistran. As assistant professor of violin and viola, Jane instructed many of the students who have participated in Concordia performances of Legacy. More specifically, she also conducted the premiere. Because Kevin’s own doctoral commencement was scheduled for the same day as the concert, Jane (then director of the Concordia College Symphonia) stepped in to conduct. It was a tremendously encouraging performance to witness, and I am so grateful to Jane and Kevin for their roles in bringing this music to life. Both have also programmed it with their respective regional youth orchestras.

Legacy was premiered on May 6th, 2017 by the Concordia Orchestra, Jane Linde Capistran conducting.

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