Cherished, op. 242
Commissioned by Jim Hill, Monroe, NC
2022 – grade 3 – 4:55
I have known Jim Hill for many years, having met him during one of several trips to North Carolina to conduct regional honor bands in that state. Jim had previously commissioned me to write a piece for his band at Monroe High School in 2008 (Commemoration Overture, Op. 136, published with Alfred Music). Upon his retirement after many years of being a band director, he asked me to accept another commission, this time to honor friends and colleagues, including one who he credits with saving his life after suffering a terrible accident at home. Steve Stevens had invited Jim to his concert, and upon realizing Jim was not in attendance, knew that something was wrong, drove to Jim's house and called for medical assistance in order to rescue his friend. Jim refers to that performance as "A Concert that Saved a Life!"
In addition to commissioning this piece as a musical message of gratitude to Steve, Jim also wished to include his friends and colleagues Stephanie Tomberlin and Tracy Humphries, who along with Steve Stevens he considers his "loving friends in music and life." Jim obviously cherishes his friendships, his life in music and life itself. And it is also certain that many others feel the same way about him, hence the title.
Jim's instructions to me were simple, "Make me cry." I hope I have been able to accomplish that for him in this piece.