FAIRFAX, VA. -- Two milestones will be celebrated Saturday night at George Mason University's Center for the Arts Concert Hall.
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (FSO) begins its 60th season Saturday with the Fairfax Jubliee and, among other performances, will debut a composition that commemorates that milestone and the 275th anniversary of the founding of Fairfax County.
The piece is called "Resolutions" and was composed by George Mason University Music Prof. Mark Camphouse.
"'Resolutions'. The musical implication and the political implication. It seemed very apt as a title," said Camphouse. "Musically, a resolution is, harmonically, when a composer resolves a dissonance to a consonance. Politically, it has to do with the 'Fairfax Resolves', as it's called. A document penned by George Mason in 1774."
Camphouse said the piece was commissioned by the orchestra and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova.
"They made it clear that they wanted a work that commemorated the orchestra and Fairfax County. It should be celebrational, and it is, but it begins rather somberly with an extended passage for solo cello. Just one player," added Camphouse as he described the piece. "This could be George Mason agonizing over slavery, or it also could be a slave singing this melancholy melody at the beginning. And again, I’ll let the listener decide that."
"He has come up with a piece which is so appropriate," said FSO conductor Christopher Zimmerman. "It basically moves from meditative to really jubilant at the end. Rejoicing and in some ways, very patriotic."
“There’s such a wealth of history in Fairfax County. Very, very rich in history. The piece came quite easily, really," added Camphouse. "I was inspired by what I learned about the rich history of Fairfax County and tried to apply that to the music, but also, not only the history, but also the phenomenal growth of Fairfax County and I think the county’s vibrancy and the exciting future that Fairfax County has.”