Evans High School band members Chad Bain (from left) Whitney Bryant, Jenny Rieck and Ashley McKeon rehearse Heavens Light, a composition that was commissioned in memory of former band member Holly Spivey.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Holly Spivey loved the stars.
Her fascination was the inspiration for a commissioned piece of music in her honor by Cincinnati composer Steven Reineke.
Holly, 16, was an active member of the Evans High School band, earning accolades as a clarinet player in the all-state honor band and the Winthrop University Invitational Honor Band. Holly and her parents died Oct. 4, 2002, in a fire at their Martinez home.
Then band director Richard Brasco commissioned Reineke to compose a ballad in her memory.
The band's 73-member Wind Ensemble I, the top band, will premiere the piece, titled Heaven's Light, on Thursday at the band's spring concert. The event is slated for 7 p.m. in Augusta State University's Performing Arts Theater.
"Some of the students had written some lines about Holly and her love of music and the band and the fact that she was also fascinated with stars," Reineke said. "And one of the students had written a line about Holly now being a star looking down on us. I kind got inspiration from that line and her big affinity with the stars."
The musical arrangement was given to band members the week before spring break, said current band director Reid Hall. But Brasco wanted to walk them through the emotional piece the first time, she said.
Holly would have been a 17-year-old senior now, and might have occupied the first clarinet chair. Because of her love of music and the clarinet, Reineke included a clarinet solo.
A few seniors approached Hall asking if one of them could play the solo, and one of Holly's good friends, Lauren Simpson, will play the flute solo, Hall said.
"When we played it the first time, all our eyes welled up," Hall said. "She was a great girl, a great girl."
Hall said Holly was considered a quiet student to teachers but was lively around her friends.
Several band alumni who were close to Holly asked to return for the performance, which will be guest conducted by Reineke. He will arrive Wednesday to practice with all the bands.
Each of the school's three bands - Wind Ensemble I, Wind Ensemble II and Symphonic Band - chose a favorite Reineke work to perform under his conducting Thursday night.
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