by Drew R. Fennell (Grade 4+, 7:30)
Hometown Miniatures was begun in the morning of Sunday, March 3rd, 2002. I “penned” the first notes into my computer at 9am in the morning, before leaving the house to go to church. I must admit, my mind was far from the church that morning. During the following ten days, I worked ten to fifteen-hour days, finishing the piece. I completed it on the evening of my thirtieth birthday, March 13th, 2002, and began copying parts that night. With the help of my friend, Dave, I got all the parts completed for its first rehearsal on March 14th.
I tell you all of this not because I think it is particularly interesting, but because I think it shows how the creation of a piece like this can underscore a period of your life. For me, my thirtieth birthday will always be connected to the completion of Hometown Miniatures. I remember completely the moment I started and the moment I completed the piece. And I definitely remember the first time I heard the piece; they say men can’t give birth, but I imagine (aside from the absence of physical pain) hearing for the first time a piece you wrote feels just a little like that.
I feel I got pretty lucky with this piece – beginner’s luck. It seems to speak to people. And I think it tells them something kind of reassuring: that amid all the turmoil of the world today, we all have a warm and safe place we call home. That was my intent with the piece, and, happily, it came through in the music.
The piece reflects my experiences, which were not all that long ago. Many of the best memories of my hometown stem from the summer of 1987, during the Centennial Celebration of my little town. I was fifteen, and the events surrounding our Centennial seemed almost “Norman Rockwell-ian” to me then (and even moreso now).
Drew R. Fennell