for English horn or alto saxophone and percussion (1 player)

In memoriam Gayneyl and Harry Wheeler

Program Notes

Epitafio bears the subtitle “In memoriam Gayneyl and Harry Wheeler.” Gayneyl and Harry were very visible and important figures for many years in the surprisingly active and interesting local arts scene in my hometown of Amarillo, Texas. Gayneyl taught piano and her husband Harry taught piano and clarinet, and was also a very fine metal sculptor. Gayneyl was my piano teacher for several years. She was herself an accomplished composer and was always very encouraging of my own creative efforts. Among my most cherished possessions is one of Harry’s sculptures.

Long after I left Amarillo I maintained a friendship with the Wheelers (and with their son John, with whom I went to high school). I was deeply saddened by their deaths, Harry’s in 1997 and Gayneyl’s in 2000.

I had just started work on a piece for English horn and percussion (with no title in mind yet) when I learned of Gayneyl’s death, and I determined to make it a small tribute to Gayneyl and Harry, and what their friendship and example meant to me. Accordingly the piece contains a few melodic fragments from Gayneyl’s compositions woven into the texture.

Epitafio was written for oboist Paige Morgan and percussionist Conrad Alexander, colleagues of my wife’s at the Ithaca College School of Music. They gave its premiere in early 2004. They recorded it for my CD, Witnesses of Time (Centaur Records CRC 2816). It also exists in a version for alto saxophone and percussion.

found on Marc Satterwhite’s CD, Witnesses of Time: Chamber Music of Marc Satterwhite