The Viewmont High School Band Department will honor the memory of a fallen friend in their upcoming concert “The Song Shall Never End,” set for March 5 at 7 p,m, in the VHS auditorium. The concert will be the world premiere of a song specially composed for Andrew Tolman, a trumpet player at the school who died in an accident in March 2012.
“It is a beautiful piece of music that honors Andrew’s memory in an uplifting and memorable way,” wrote Dan Chaston, the director of bands at VHS, in a statement about the concert.
This is the fourth year the school has commissioned a composer to create a new piece for Viewmont to premiere. Chaston first decided to commission a piece for Andrew in mid-2012, knowing that he would have graduated this spring had he lived.
“At the time of Andrew’s passing, several band parents asked me if we should set up a scholarship in his name,” wrote Chaston. “My experience with memorial scholarships is that they can easily fade over time, but a piece of music could be played by us and many other bands across the country for years to come and last forever.”
In fact, he chose the composer specifically to ensure the song would get the widest reach possible. Dr. David Gillingham, a professor at Central Michigan University, has composed music that has been performed all over the world.
“I sought out such a prominent composer because I wanted to guarantee that the piece be published and available for any band to perform,” he wrote. “He was not only willing and happy to write for us, but was also honored to be part of something so special to our band, school and community.”
Though the piece hasn’t yet premiered, there are already signs that Chaston’s hopes for it will be realized. Scott Hagen, the director of bands at the University of Utah, recently heard the song while working with the students at the school.
“After hearing the piece, he told the group that this is the kind of piece that other groups of all levels have been waiting for,” Chaston wrote. “It will be performed many times over.”
Tickets are $5, and can be purchased from either a Viewmont High band student or at the door an hour before the concert. For more information, visit davis.k12.ut.us/Domain/7745.