The National Anthem

Anthems are musical repositories for an entire country’s hopes, dreams, ambitions, fears, frustration and anger. They serve as an of emotional foil of a whole society through song. Everyone knows the tune, and usually the lyrics, and some anthems are well known far beyond a nation’s borders, for better or for worse. As I wrote this piece in the weeks leading up to and just past the 2020 US election, I was—like many people around the world—utterly unable to focus on much else. Fortunately, those moments are in our rear-view mirror (for how long?) but the era will live with us forever, as should our musical reimagining of it.

PREMIERE September 26, 2021.
LOCATION Pollack Hall, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
PERSONNEL The Graham Sommer Trio: Amy Hillis, violin, Chloé Dominguez, cello, Meagan Milatz, piano
COMMISSIONER The Graham Sommer Competition