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Song For A Friend

for horn and piano (2019)

"Dr. John Wacker, Professor of Music at Western State College, died in an car accident on May 11th, 2014.  John was a mentor, colleague, and friend to countless people in Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Colorado.  His loss was a tremendous blow to those that knew and loved him."  These are words from Marc Reed who was a good friend of John and who contacted me about writing a memorial piece for him.  As John was a fine trumpet player himself, Marc asked that the piece be for trumpet and piano.

     In speaking with some of his close friends it became very clear that this was a great person that brought light to other people's lives.  While I never had the fortune of knowing John personally, I am lucky to have a couple "John Wacker's" in my own life and I can only imagine how unbearable it would be to lose one of them so suddenly. Song For A Friend is a eulogy for one who brought joy and happiness into the world and was taken too soon. 

Originally composed for trumpet, this adaption was commissioned by Sarah Schwenke.


Duration: 6' 20"

Song For A Friend -
Sarah Schwenke, horn
(live performance)

"Song For A Friend is a wonderful piece of music that captures John's indelible spirit.  Its melancholy and optimistic tone is reflective of the feelings that so many had for John.  I hope it will touch trumpeters and audiences for generations to come."

—  Dr. Marc Reed, Fort Lewis College

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