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Three-school partnership leads to special performance of ‘Song For Hope’ at Hastings College

(Hastings, Nebraska) – To celebrate Easter, Hastings College Music has coordinated with musicians at Hastings High School and the University of Nebraska–Kearney to record “Song For Hope” by Peter Meechan.

The song, recorded in Hastings College’s Fuhr Hall over multiple days in order to allow for social distancing, will premiere on Easter Sunday (April 12) at 3:00 p.m. simultaneously on the Hastings College Facebook page (facebook.com/hastings.edu), the Hastings College Music Facebook page (facebook.com/hastingscollegemusic) and the College’s YouTube channel (YouTube.com/hastingscollege).

Dr. Louie Eckhardt, Hastings College professor of music and bands; Erin Beave, Hastings Senior High School band teacher; and Dr. Tim Farrell, University of Nebraska-Kearney professor of music, high brass and jazz, are all playing trumpet for the special performance, and Dr. Jonathan Sokasits, Hastings College professor of piano, is accompanying on piano.

Eckhardt said he reached out to the composer of the piece to create a version of the song for three trumpet players and a piano.

“We came together virtually to record the piece as a symbol of solidarity amongst the music and education communities, and to provide a symbol of hope that we will overcome the COVID-19 pandemic,” Eckhardt said.

Sokasits recorded his part first, which was then shared with the others to prepare for the performance. Eckhardt used an earpiece to hear the piano part as he recorded his part, which was then combined with the piano part and shared with Farrell and Beave. This was repeated until all four parts were recorded and combined into the final video.

“Song of Hope” was composed by Meechan in 2015 for the principal trumpeter in the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Ryan Anthony. Anthony has multiple-myeloma and founded an organization called Cancer Blows to raise awareness and money for research.

Anthony’s journey has inspired many as he continues to document his treatment. The premiere was at a concert at the Meyerson Center in Dallas featuring members of the DSO, as well as a veritable who’s who of internationally renowned trumpet players.

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