But an assignment is an assignment. I struggled through the process, eventually finding myself with a piece that fit together, worked with the poem, and met all the theory requirements. Nonetheless, I was disheartened by the result. Benjamin, however, thought "The Captain's Daughter" was wonderful, and could daily be found pounding out the minor tune on the piano, until I finally cried in exasperation: "Ben, write your own piece!"
And so he did. A few days later I found a sheet of paper, folded in quarters, sitting on my bed.
Several years later, in 2010, another piece of his was performed, this time for a much larger audience, when friend Jenny and I played the piano-cello duet he composed specifically for us: "Forgotten Fantasia." And again, this spring, another ensemble of his, "Time," was played by Emmy, Rachel, and friend Jo.
But tomorrow is the real deal. At 3pm, in the sanctuary of Mount Scott Church of God, Benjamin will conduct OPAYCO in the first performance of his orchestral piece, "Battle for Skandia." Exciting, beautiful, and just plain fun, it has been such a privilege to be a participant in the premiering of his music. Tomorrow, as the grin slides over my face in response to the catchy cello motif, or the throb of the timpani beat, or the melancholic measures of the English horn, I'll look at Ben, and remember his first song. I'll remember that afternoon, swinging our bare feet from the piano bench, playing "My Sister Sarah." And I'll be proud of my famous composer-brother.