In Praise of Gentle Pioneers
The Holsinger family farm, good, rich, farmland on the Missouri River bottoms, in north central Missouri was homesteaded by my great grandfather in 1840. And since his death in the 1890's, my grandfather and father, both only sons like myself, farmed the same land continually. Only a few years ago, one of the pastures was plowed under to extend acreage for planting. It is remarkable to imagine in this day and age, with all the centuries that have passed, that that particular piece of earth was being tilled for the very first time ever! It is the bond with that strong earth that has nurtured an even stronger sense of heritage in our family. With the passing of my father this past year, I have had opportunity to reflect upon the pioneers of my family. My father, and my grandfather before him were men strong in resolve and perseverance, yet humble and gentle with the land on which they lived. They each were men of Christian faith and love . . . rugged men who daily battled the frustration of nature's fickleness, yet always willing to put aside the time needed to nurture the family. For years Debbie Oxner Jordan has wanted me to write a piece of slow music for her outstanding ensemble, knowing full well that with a slower tempo also comes a predisposition toward deeper musical and emotional parameters for the players. Knowing Debbie, I am assured that my heart's work is in good hands. I am grateful to the Drayton Hall Band for the opportunity to write this work in memory of my father.
- Composer: David R. Holsinger
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