full-length ballet score for string quartet and piano; 52’(2015) commissioned by the San Angelo Civic Ballet performed by the Pecatonica String Quartet with the composer at the piano:
composer's note: I love writing music for children, and "Seven Princesses and a Bear" is some of the most fun I've ever had doing so. The basic plot of "Seven Princesses" is a bit silly, but also acts as a parable, teaching values to children through entertainment, as much of the best art for children does. It was such a blast to create this music for string quartet and piano, full of character and color and rhythm, all in service of storytelling without words.
(rough) plot synopsis: In scene 1, seven princesses gather, each of whom is the embodiment of a virtuous quality: Hope, Joy, Patience, Persistence, Friendship, Pride, and their leader, Charity. At the end of Scene 1, however, their happy meeting is interrupted by a bear! OH NO! The princesses run away.
Scenes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are solos for each of the princesses, embodying their personality traits in musical form. Scene 7 is Pride's variation, in which she becomes rather TOO proud, and decides to hold the stage for too long, until finally Charity is able to have her moment in Scene 8.
In Scene 9, an evil queen shows up, and tries to convince Pride that SHE should be the leader, which Pride thinks is a great idea. But the evil queen abuses Pride and pushes her down, and now Pride doesn't know WHAT to think. Scene 10 begins with Pride crying, unsure of how to proceed. In scene 11, the woodland creatures come out to cheer her up, and manage to succeed... Until the bear interrupts again! OH NO!
But it turns out they're a friendly bear, and now Pride and the Bear dance a lovely duet together. In Scene 12, they team up together to defeat the evil queen, at which point Pride transforms into Humility in scene 13. In Scene 14, all the princesses return together, now united in even more perfect harmony than before (along with their new friend the bear).
And in Scene 15, there's a celebration, and a joyous grand finale!