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Nazareth Wind Symphony premieres Sandy Hook reflection

Published February 27, 2018

The Nazareth College Wind Symphony, conducted by Dr. Jared Chase, will premiere "Into the Silent Land" by Rochester-based composer Steve Danyew on Sunday, March 4, 2018 at 3 p.m., in Linehan Chapel, Golisano Academic Center on the campus of Nazareth College at 4245 East Avenue, Rochester, 14618. Admission is free.

Danyew grew up in Sandy Hook, Conn., about a mile down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary School, where he attended grades 3-5. An award-winning composer, much of Danyew's formal music training began at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "I remember singing in music class there, learning the recorder, the violin, and starting the saxophone, which really put me on a path to a life in music," said Danyew.

Dr. Jared Chase, music director of the Nazareth College Wind Symphony, approached Danyew last year about writing a new piece for a consortium. A total of 35 schools and individuals throughout the U.S. and Canada have signed on to be part of the commissioning consortium. The Nazareth College Wind Symphony was invited to perform a concert as part of the 2018 College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA) Eastern Division Conference, which will take place March 7-10, 2018 at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. The members of the College Band Directors National Association are devoted to the teaching, performance, study and cultivation of music, with particular focus on the wind band medium.

"When Jared and I began talking about a new piece to be presented at the concert in New Haven, we talked about the significance of Connecticut for me, and I felt like maybe I was ready to write a piece about Sandy Hook," said Danyew.

The nine minute "Into the Silent Land" blends elements of a funeral march and a lament, with music that is at times mournful and at other times ethereal. Toward the end of the work, lines from the Christina Rossetti poem Remember are read over the music. The title of the work comes from the opening lines of the poem: "Remember me when I am gone away, gone far away into the silent land." The poem will be read by Dr. Katie Hannigan, assistant professor of voice at Nazareth College.

"This was probably the hardest piece I have written, but ultimately I hope that it is meaningful for listeners and causes us to pause and remember the victims and the families of this tragedy and other similar tragedies, and hopefully come together to prevent this kind of violence," said Danyew.

The full concert program of the Nazareth College Wind Symphony includes:
Charles Ives, "Here's to Good Old Yale" (1897)
Kathryn Salfelder, "Cathedrals" (2007)
Gustav Mahler, "Des Knaben Wunderhorn"
Steve Danyew, "Into the Silent Land" (World Premiere)
Michael Daugherty, "Of War and Peace" (2017)

About composer Steve Danyew
Steve Danyew's music has been hailed as "startlingly beautiful" and "undeniably well crafted and communicative" by the Miami Herald, and has been praised as possessing "sensitivity, skill and tremendous sophistication" by the Kansas City Independent. Danyew received a bachelor's degree from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami and holds a master's degree in composition and certificate in arts leadership from the Eastman School of Music. He serves as an instructor in the Arts Leadership Program at the Eastman School of Music, where he teaches courses on career skills and creativity for musicians. Danyew also serves as managing editor of the Paul R. Judy Center for Innovation and Research at the Eastman School, where he writes and curates content for musicians, ensembles, and organizations. Danyew self-publishes much of his catalog, though several of his works are published by Augsburg Fortress Press, Colla Voce Music, and Keyboard Percussion Publications. For more information, please visit

About the Nazareth College Wind Symphony
The Nazareth College Wind Symphony is open to all majors at Nazareth College. The ensemble is dedicated to presenting an exciting variety of works from all musical periods, cultures and styles, featuring both core and contemporary repertoire, and new pieces by emerging composers. They perform at least two concerts each semester in the Linehan Chapel at Nazareth College as well as concerts off campus. In addition, this ensemble also frequently tours throughout the region and was recently featured at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Conference in December of 2013 and the New York State Band Directors Association Conference in March 2015. They are led by Dr. Jared Chase, associate professor of music.

For More Information

Michelle Shippers, 585-389-2093,

Nazareth College’s academic strengths cross an unusually broad spectrum of 60 majors, including education, health and human services, management, the fine arts, music, theater, math and science, foreign languages, and the liberal arts. The coeducational, religiously independent, classic campus in a charming suburb of Rochester, N.Y., challenges and supports 2,300 undergrads and 700 graduate students. Nazareth is recognized nationally for its Fulbright global student scholars and commitment to civic engagement. Rigorous programs, an uncommon arts and sciences core, experiential learning, career skills, and a global focus prepare graduates for not just one job, but for their life’s work.