program notes by composition > O > October


Eric Whitacre

October was commissioned by a consortium of 30 high school bands from Nebraska. The composer writes, “October is my favorite month. Something about the crisp autumn air and the subtle change in light always makes me a little sentimental, and as I started to sketch I felt that same quiet beauty in the writing. The simple, pastoral melodies and subsequent harmonies are inspired by the great English Romantics (Vaughn Williams, Elgar) as I felt that this style was also perfectly suited to capture the natural and pastoral soul of the season.”

Eric Whitacre (b. 1970) is one of the most popular and performed composers of his generation. He earned degrees at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas and Juilliard. He writes music that incorporates contemporary sounds and influences. He is known for his use of unconventional chord progressions and rhythms that often involve mixed, complex, and/or compound meters and unusual patterns. “Ghost Train”, “Godzilla Eats Las Vegas”, and “October” are among his works which have achieved success in the symphonic wind community. In 2010 he signed a long-term performing contract with Decca. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Grammy-award winning soprano Hila Plitmann and their son.

Last updated on July 16, 2013 by Palatine Concert Band