TRILLIUM FLUTES FEATURE SPECIAL MCCOY COMPOSITION
In their upcoming concert series Trillium Flute Ensemble will premier an arrangement of an original composition by well-known area musician Beth Perkinson McCoy of Abingdon. This arrangement of Canzona con variazioni, which means ‘song with variations,’ was especially commissioned for Trillium by Charlotte Ellis for her fellow flutists to honor them and express her appreciation for their dedication to the group’s musical commitment. “I wanted them to know how special they are to me both individually and as a group,” said Ellis.
Canzona had its birth in 2003, when Elizabeth Upton, who was preparing for her piano juries at
When Ellis heard the song performed on the piano at the “Artistic Reflections” program held at First Presbyterian Church in
So she contacted McCoy, founder and director of the East Tennessee Children’s Choir and the Highlands Youth Ensemble and member of the Greater Tri-Cities Area Composers’ Consortium, and the commission was arranged.
“To arrange it for five flutes I wanted to stay within their range and yet give all the flutists interesting things to play so it would be fun for each one,” reports McCoy. “The challenge was taking the pianist’s left hand accompaniment figure and rewriting it for six hands! The joy was adding many more notes and variations – something I could do all day!”
“The main theme of Canzona begins in 7/8 time, then moves to 8/8 and ends in 9/8,” says McCoy. “To the music aficionado what I have done is ‘remove the 8th beat’ for several measures, then appear to ‘add them back’ in the later measures. The feeling is one of foreshortened, then extended penultimate beats. To the listener it seems to match the phrases: ‘Please don’t go, please don’t go, . . . I have to go, . . . yes, I have to go,’ as if always adding more words before the final word ‘go.’ The melody captures the sadness of this phrase as well, but I never thought of this until after I finished the flute arrangement.”
“It has been very enjoyable for me to write for Trillium Flute Ensemble,” adds McCoy. “Getting to be a living composer hearing a living group play my music live is a rare treat! Often composers have no one wanting to play their pieces, and the reverse is even more true – usually musicians are playing the works of deceased composers and cannot ask them about interpretation or tempo.”
“Trillium is delighted with the work and eager to perform it,” said Ellis.
Canzona will be premiered by Trillium Flute Ensemble in their four-concert series and can be heard at the following times and locations: Sunday, September 18, 3 p.m., at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, Kingsport; Friday, September 23, 7:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Bristol TN; Sunday, September 25, 3 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, Johnson City; and Sunday, October 2, 3 p.m., at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Abingdon VA.
For more information, contact Charlotte Ellis, coordinator of the group, at 423-323-4933.