Pittsburgh Orchestra performs senior Jeff Binner’s composition
By Alli Grant, A&E Editor
Gettysburg College’s renowned motto is “Do Great Work.” Short, sweet and simple, yet it fully encompasses how students live their four undergraduate years: by using the resources available to them to work hard and put forth their best work.
It came to no surprise when senior Jeff Binner was chosen to have his orchestral composition performed for the 10th Annual Reading Session for Young Composers’ Work by the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra on March 15, 2014. This session offers annual readings of new works by student composers as a part of its Composer of the Year program, and Binner was one of only two undergraduate students in the country who was selected.
The Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra performed Binner’s composition, Grief, a piece that represents three of the five stages of grief in the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’ model: denial, depression and acceptance. A personal loss inspired Binner to focus on this model for his composition.
“This was the first full orchestral piece I’ve ever written,” said Binner. “To have my work showcased was such an honor and an unbelievable experience to hear it performed by one of the top orchestras in the world.”
Hearing his composition being per formed in Pittsburg for an audience was not the only perk of being selected for this reading session; Binner also reaped the benefits of having his work critiqued and received advice on techniques for future composing.
Although his original work symbolized only three of the five stages of grief to fit the length requirements of the contest, Binner plans to continue working on the composition, integrating the other two stages: anger and bargaining.
As Binner worked alongside the faculty of Gettysburg’s Sunderman Conservatory of Music to make his finishing adjustments to Grief, he serves as a perfect example of how Gettysburg College students “Do Great Work.”
With all the resources available to students and faculty members who are more than willing to guide and give advice, each student has the opportunity to prove to themselves and the community that their ambition can go a long way in performing great work.