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"Master of My Fate" A peak into Nelson Mandela For Young Bands

"Master of My Fate" A peak into Nelson Mandela For Young Bands

May 09, 2023


Kelijah Dunton

This project was commissioned and made possible by the Beyond The Notes Music Festival, Inc, Chris Gleason President.
    For the past year and a half, my life has been a whirlwind. I've lived in Albania for a couple of months and experienced many new things. I've experienced personal tragedy and loss on a scale that I'm not completely able to come to grips with or talk about. But, through it all, I've been able to find glimmers of light. One such glimmer of light, has been this project Chris Gleason and I have cooked up. A little peak into Nelson Mandela's life and tragic story, made accessible to young wind bands everywhere.
    The title "Master of My Fate" is taken directly out of Mandela's favorite quote from a poem titled "Invictus" by William Earnest Henley. The entire quote that aided in keeping Nelson Mandela going strong during trying times, reads, "I am the master of my fate; the captain of my soul". In my mind, this piece starts with a yearning for freedom. He must have called out to God when all hope seems lost. He must have begged the heavens and the stars to help him lead South Africa out of the dark times. By the end of the piece, it sounds as if he's gotten his answer from God. He is set free, he is at peace, and his nation of South Africa rejoices! 
    It's been an honor to work on a project of this magnitude, and I hope that even in times of peril, we all can fight on and become the masters of our own fate. 
The piece will be premiered by the Glacier Creek Middle School in Wisconsin, Tuesday May 30th, @ 7:00PM CDT

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