Last year the GCO performed Conni Ellisor’s Blackberry Winter featuring the world’s leading dulcimer soloist, Stephen Seifert.
This year the GCO is tackling the regional premiere of the sequel, Broad Band of Light.
Based on Stephen’s extensive fan base as a seasoned performer, Broad Band of Light is one of the only fan-based commissions
of an orchestral piece in existence. People from all over donated to have a new piece written for Stephen, and the Tucson
Symphony premiered it.
“In the fall of 2016 we were delighted to work with Stephen and Conni for the first time in performances of Blackberry Winter,”
explained Gregory Wolynec, Gateway Chamber Orchestra Music Director. “After those concerts we talked about performing the
sequel she had written for Steve and the Tucson Symphony. We are delighted to present the Tennessee premiere and second
performance of this exciting piece for mountain dulcimer and orchestra.”
“When I first met with Steve to discuss writing this piece he was, above all else, interested in pushing the boundaries of what a
dulcimer could do,” recalled composer Conni Ellisor. “A beautiful tender instrument with a proud American folk tradition, the
dulcimer is fairly primitive, but Steve has amassed technique far beyond the norm. He was interested in moving into styles
unfamiliar and a little challenging. It is my hope that we have created that with this piece and that it moves in many moods and
textures, much like the many different colors in a broad band of light.”