Today is the worldwide release of my new piece, The Change We Need, commissioned and recorded by the National Youth Training Choir for their 25th Anniversary! Led by conductor Greg Beardsell, the National Youth Training Choir, joined by Eleanor Bray, Loren Kell, and Ella Rainbird-Earley of the NYCGB Fellowship Octet, have performed this piece in lockdown. Each musician recorded their part virtually, meaning this release is the first time we are hearing the choir sing the piece "together"!
The text of this piece is, "The youth will be the change we need now." I selected it as a reflection of our particular time. This summer, in our collective movement advocating for equity, several protests were driven by Generation Z activists. All around me, I heard people express that the youth would usher forward change that we so desperately need. This is a huge responsibility for young adults to inherit, but it is also the opportunity to rebuild the world on our terms: to acknowledge the past's ills, and to hold ourselves to doing better in the future.
This year, the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain's theme is "cultural identity." For our piece, I interpreted identity as learning and reconciling the distinct, sometimes disparate, parts of ourselves in ways that honor who we are and where we come from. This is represented in the piece as a dialogue between two styles of music as they transform each other.