Always Be True
Instrumentation: 0000/4331/timp.,2 perc., org.,/strgs.
Composition Date: 2002
Commissioned: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
This piece was commissioned as part of the celebrations surrounding the installation of the Davis Pipe Organ in the Winspear Centre for Music in Edmonton. When we decided that I would compose a new work for the organ I new immediately that I wanted the title to include some kind of recognition of Stuart Davies' incredible donation. When Elaine Calder told me the following story, I knew I had my title.
Stuart Davies endowed seat B16 in the Terrace Left section in honour of his late wife Winnie. The plaque has her name and the phrase "Always Be True". This is why: After she died, Stuart was going through her papers and found her travel diary. In the front she had written her name, address, etc. but where it said "policy" (presumably for an insurance policy number) she had written "Always Be True." He says she always was.
The piece is a 7-minute fanfare and chorale for brass, percussion and organ. It has two contrasting moods. The first is celebratory, to reflect our excitement over this incredible new instrument and the other peaceful, in recognition of the great love Stuart Davies had for his wife.