Read coverage in The St. Cloud Times

The St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra, under the musical direction of William Schrickel, presented the world premiere of Sun Dogs on Sunday, May 1st on the campus of St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN.

About the piece...

Sun Dogs (2005)
for Symphony Orchestra (3333, 4231, Cel, Hp, Timp, 3 Perc, Strings)
Commissioned by Roger and Verna Rohlck for the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra.

This work was funded in part by the Composer Assistance Program of the American Music Center.

"Sun dogs," or "mock suns," appear as bright bursts of light on each side of the sun. Formed in northern climates when sunlight passes through hexagonal ice crystals high in the atmosphere, they are most often bright white but may show a spectrum of color resembling a rainbow. I first saw a pair of "sun dogs" on a cold winter morning while driving to Duluth a few years ago and was immediately fascinated by their appearance. Given the elements of light and color, it seemed like an ideal fit for an orchestral work. When I began researching what I had seen, however, I found only page after page of explanations and descriptions, each containing out-of-focus and poorly lit photographs. It quickly became apparent that while seeing "sun dogs" was not uncommon, capturing the effect was. I realized that what I had seen was, like music, something that had to be experienced and was almost impossible to describe using words. Sun Dogs is meant to be a musical portrait, a way to share both my sense of wonder at the spectacular view I witnessed as well as the feeling that this was one of those moments in life that could never be re-created or explained, just re-imagined.

I would like to express my deepest gratitude to William Schrickel, Sandy Nadeau, and especially Roger and Verna Rohlck for their willingness to support my music. For any creative artist, it’s impossible to overstate the importance of having people that champion the creation of new works and are willing to take a chance. Thank you.