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Close and Apart

soprano, baritone, and large chamber ensemble (9 players)


Scheduled premiere on September 12, 2023 - Luth Concert Hall - College of the Holy Cross

for more information on the premiere, click here

Jennifer Ashe - soprano

Brian Church - baritone

Kevin Nolan - guitar

Matt Nolan - drumkit

Chuck Furlong - clarinet/bass clarinet

Andy Kozar - trumpet

David Rubin - violin

Zan Berry - cello

Pete Walsh - double bass

Piero Guimaraes - percussion

Yoko Hagino - piano

Matt Sharrock - conductor

About the Piece 

Close and Apart is dedicated to Eric and Grace Gregory, their family, and the memory of their son Christopher. This concert length (approximately 75 minutes) song cycle was inspired by Eric’s memoir, All My Tomorrows: A Story of Tragedy, Transplant and Hope (Word Association Publishers, 2017), which evokes the playful, generous spirit of his son who died from a brain aneurysm at nineteen. Eric traces the process of donating Christopher’s organs and shows how forming friendships with the recipients helped the family heal. This piece conveys the memoir’s narrative arc while exploring themes of grief, healing, community, temporality, memory, empathy, and interconnection. The score includes musical adaptations of ten poems by Susan Elizabeth Sweeney, and synthesizes different musical traditions, including classical, New Orleans jazz, folk, and liturgical chant, among others. I am grateful for Grace and Eric’s gracious support at all stages of this project, and for Beth Sweeney’s wonderful collaborative spirit.


Text used with permission from Susan Elizabeth Sweeney and Eric Gregory.

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