symphonic band music
challenge course

"Each Time You Tell Their Story"
by Samuel R. Hazo
Grade Level 3

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FJH Music


"Each Time You Tell Their Story" was commissioned in July of 2002 by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Dulaney, Bandmaster at the New Mexico Military Institute. The purpose of the commission was to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the institute's band program as well as to honor former cadets who sacrificed their lives for their country and its people. It is a musical and poetic journey that takes the listener from the horrible human sacrifice of war, to the love a soldier must feel for his fellow man in order to give such a sacrifice. In the opening of the piece the listener will hear somber chords interwoven with the military's funeral drum cadence as well as a quote from Taps.

At measure 11, the chimes symbolize a religious service to memorialize someone's life. This theme builds to measure 15, when the powerful dissonant chords express the culmination of grief one feels after a loss. Up to this point, the music has been a prequel to the poetic text which is read over the vamp of the soft drum cadence at measure 21.

The poem, titled "At the Site of the Memorial," transitions the view of heroic loss from that of duty for one's country, to an act of love for one's fellow man that can justify life's sacrifice more than valor. Following the poem, the same themes used in the musical prequel are repeated, but are now meant to sound beautiful. The deceptive ending at 41 finalizes the soft themes that followed the poem. It serves to contrast the full and powerful themes upcoming at measure 45 which will truly symbolize the ultimate sacrifice, inspired by love. The third measure of 56 recalls the quote from Taps, only this time it is played over lush chords. At measure 62, the chords resolve and hold. First, the winds and brass fade out symbolizing the end of life; second, the timpani fades out symbolizing the remembrance of heroism; then, only the wind chimes are left playing to symbolize that acts of love remain alive after all else is gone.