Congratulations on your amazing gala! I have to tell you how happy I am that you commissioned Crosstown M42! I loved writing it with Fred–your instinct about writing it and pairing me with Fred could not have been more perfect. I was thrilled that we somehow got it together and did it last year–even with my mess of a score–and did it on the Radio. Your instinct was dead on–it was perfect for the occasion. I also think your instinct to put it on the gala was incredibly perfect. It was the right piece to show contemporary music for that occasion–not too serious, not incongruous with all the pop music, but fun and accessible. I also think your instinct to orchestrate the piece was excellent. At the rehearsals, you could hear how good the whole thing could sound.
I was delighted to have the chance to speak before the piece and say what I truly felt about you and the organization. What you have achieved with these kids is amazing. I never really saw them all together nor heard the stories of the group’s beginning. Hearing those 2 girls at the dinner speak at what YPC meant to them brought tears to my eyes (being a teacher at heart myself). I hope you can take in what an amazing thing you are doing for these kids–as well as the composers like me who are lucky enough to work with them. Sometimes it can be hard, when you’re in the middle of things, to really take in what you’re accomplishing–but it is extraordinary. It has been a privilege and a joy to work with you and the group. Please tell them how much I adore them. I hope some day children will speak about me the way those girls spoke about you. That was the real thing–the thing that really matters and it’s you who make it all possible. Congratulations on who you are and what you do.