List of Works

Resolution for SATB Sax Quartet

This piece for saxophone quartet, written in 2016 was a way for my voice to speak out about what I was witnessing and experiencing in the world around me. I was seeing fear and pain in a lot of my community at college, and especially back home. And I began to realize that I was also scared. I did not know how to deal with what I was experiencing with such a huge cultural divide coming to surface, so I wrote a piece. This piece is not necessarily in honor of those who have fallen. It is not necessarily a reprimand to those who have done wrong. This piece was written to give thanks to the way I was born. Quoted near the end of the piece are two hymns that are very prominent in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in which I was raised. "Lift Every Voice and Sing," which is also referred to as the Black American National Anthem, and "We Shall Overcome," which was a key hymn during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. From where we have come, I ask the audience to listen carefully through to the end and ask themselves, "Have we come to a resolution?"

Defiance for Wind Ensemble

This piece was an orchestration experiment. I was given a melody and told to orchestrate it however I wanted for a wind ensemble. I was told not to fragment the melody. So the entire opening is the melody introduced in fragments. I was told to use every standard instrument in the wind ensemble. So I cut out the ones I didn't like. I was told not to create harmonies higher than the melody itself. So in the most dramatic statement of the melody, I made sure a higher harmony cut through. And when I was told that this piece needed a name, only one seemed to fit.

Defiance.

Who Are We? - Bassoon and 2 Female Voices

This track is a movement from my 8 movement work overall titled "Who Am I?" premiering in the fall. This movement focused on how one can perceive themselves and the groups that they associate with to be pure and good and wanting the best for everything around them, but maybe when you take a step back, things aren't always so black and white in how you view yourself and others like you.

vocalclassicalbassoon

Jurupari - for Alto Flute

This piece was a commission from Dr. Janet Phillips of Averett University. This piece is based on a tale from the Taino Indians, the natives of the Caribbean Islands. Long ago, the Taino people had a special reverence toward the flute. This instrument was used for special purposes, such as announcing the return of the hunters and declarations of love. For quite some time, the flute’s power belonged to the men, but in the beginning, the power was held by women. When women held the flutes, it was the job of the men to bring in the firewood and prepare the cassava bread (a staple food for the tribal villages). The sun saw this and became annoyed with the sight of women running the world. To rectify this, he came down into the forest and impregnated a woman, creating Jurupari. Jurupari stole the sacred flutes from the women and gave them to the men. The men hid them and held celebratory feasts without the women. When Jurupari’s mother discovered the hidden flutes, Jurupari was condemned to death. With the bits of him that remained, she created the stars in the sky.

American Requiem for Soprano and Chamber Orchestra

This piece was written to describe my feelings about where America was heading in this day and age. I was witnessing people completely ignoring the feelings of others. I saw people with darker skin tones fearing their for lives just for doing normal daily activities. I was inspired to write this piece while watching UNCG's Symphony Orchestra perform John Corigliano's Mr. Tambourine Man. By the end of the performance, I had decided on my final instrumentation and performers I wanted to contact before I began writing. 

Title - Choreography by Stephanie Davis

This work was a super cool experience, working with Choreographer, Stephanie Davis, for her piece that was featured in the UNCG School of Dance BFA Dance Thesis Concert on April 28-29, 2017. The music that I composed for this begins at 5:28, but truly the entire piece as an amazing experience, based on the boxes that we, as people create for ourselves, and how we can break free of them. 

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© 2020 by Shar Joyner.