Band receives special piece to honor seniors

This year the Band Booster club decided to give the senior class and the community a gift. The band has received a commissioned piece for them to play, written specifically for the Duncan High School band. This gift is called “And So He Also Loves The Bow,” written by Roland Barret, a composer and professor at OU. It’s dedication reads, “Commissioned on behalf of the Duncan High School Band, in memory of the DHS Class of 2016 members whose lives ended too soon.”

The idea for the piece came from Mike Peercy, father of two current band students and vice president of the Band Booster club.

“The idea occurred back in the fall after the most recent classmate passed away,” Peercy said.  “It’s not normal for students that age to go through something like that.”

Peercy used to be a band director, and he thought that getting a special piece of music to honor the seniors who passed would help students with the loss.

“That’s part of the function of teaching music in our schools,” he said. “To express stuff we don’t know how to express in other ways.”

Peercy approached band director Jeramy Haas about the piece, and Haas agreed that commissioning the piece for that purpose was a good plan.

“I thought it was a great idea, and to have something written specifically for our band is cool,” Haas said.

The composition itself was based off of a poem called “On Children,” written by Kahlil Gibran.

“Basically it’s talking about parents wanting the best for their children, but yet the children have their own dreams and their own aspirations,” Haas said.

Haas was not directly involved in writing the piece; however, he did give Barret some information to help him write it.

“I did give some parameters,” Haas said. “How many of what instruments we had in the band, what level to write it at. But that was basically it; we gave him full control.”

Although the band has been focusing on preparing for their state competition, they have looked over a part of the piece.

“Just by looking at it, it looks like it’s going to be awesome,” Haas said.

Band members like the piece as well.

“It sounded very cool,” senior Taylor Mowdy said.

Mowdy appreciates the booster club’s gift to honor the seniors who lost their lives.

“I think it’s pretty rad that they did that for them, especially since having a piece commissioned costs a lot of money,” she said.

The piece took about three months to write and cost $1,500, which the band booster club fundraised as soon as they knew they were going to commission the piece.

As of now, the composition is only set to be played at the band’s spring concert on May 10.