Polaris was commissioned by the Muhlenberg South Middle School Band of Greenville, Kentucky, Joel Watson, director, to celebrate the short life of Ember Oglesby. Ember had been a student at that school, and although she battled a heart condition that ultimately took her life, she made the most of every day. Her teacher's description of her focused on her energy and joy. She was active in her church, the band, and other organizations; quick with a smile and always optimistic. A percussionist, her favorite instruments were mallets and timpani. She dreamed of being the drum major of the high school band and would no doubt have achieved the goal had her time on earth allowed. The title, Polaris, refers to the North Star, one of the brightest in the sky, known for appearing to hold steady and mark the way to true north.
- Composer: Frederick Speck