I never saw snowfall as a child growing up in Southern California; it was more a phenomenon that I saw in cartoons or read in children’s books.

I did, however, witness my first ash-fall when I was in elementary school. I looked up into the clouded sky and saw specks of ash falling from it. Excited but puzzled, I looked to my elementary school teacher during recess and held out my hand. “Oh, that’s ash from the wildfires,” she said. At that time, I couldn’t comprehend how an enormous forest fire could create a small flurry of ash-flakes.

Now I have the ominous understanding that something so magical and beautiful comes from something so powerful and destructive.


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    Commissioned by a consortium of wind ensembles, whose members include:
    Duke University Wind Symphony & The Paul R. Bryan Music Department Endowment Fund, Verena Mösenbichler-Bryant, director | Columbus State Community College, Thomas Lloyd, director | Concordia University Ann Arbor Wind Ensemble, William M. Perrine, director |  Nazareth College, Jared Chase, director | Henderson State University Wind Ensemble, Steven M. Knight, director | Arizona Women Band Director International/Jill Sullivan, Jill Sullivan, director | St. Olaf College/Dr. Timothy Mahr, Timothy Mahr, director | Indiana University, Jason Nam, director | Caltech-Occidental Wind Orchestra/Dr. Glenn D. Price, Glenn Price, director | Washburn University Wind Ensemble/Robert M. Schwartz, Robert M. Schwartz, director; University of Minnesota/University Band/Betsy McCann, Betsy McCann, conductor; SUNY Geneso Wind Ensemble/Leah McGray, Leah McGray, conductor | Univ