Yarbrough's work performed in Washington By: David Lias
Plain Talk To say that this has been a busy time for Stephen Yarbrough, associate professor of music at The University of South Dakota, is a bit of an understatement. Thanks to Yarbrough, a bit of South Dakota filled the concert hall of the famed Kennedy Center inWashington, DC earlier this week. He is scheduled to return home today, Friday, Sept. 26, after attending the world premiere of his composition Dakota Diary, which was played during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Dakota Diary represented South Dakota in a concert in which four state commissioned pieces were played by the National Symphony Chamber Players. Yarbroughâ�?�?s work is an octet in three movements for flute, oboe, horn, string quartet and piano. The first movement, Wind, Earth and Prairie Sea, is an evocation of the vast South Dakota prairie and the wind which is ever present. The second movement, Dakota Pastorale, is notable for its long singing folk-like melody. It elicits the quiet, strong beauty of the vast openness of South Dakotaâ�?�?s land. The third movement, The Greening of the Year, is a celebration of the arrival of spring on the high plains. According to the workâ�?�?s program notes, this work contains contrasting themes and dances, like rhythms contribute to a joyful singing forth of a time when the interminable winters of the Dakota plains give way to the greening of the prairie and of the souls of those who have weathered the plainsâ�?�? often severe changes in climate. In addition, Yarbrough recently signed a deal with the Via Group â�?�? a national advertising, marketing and communications agency â�?�? to let them use his composition, Angel Dances, for a Welchâ�?�?s Purple Grape Juice commercial. He has also composed Hymn of the Nativity for Christmas at Cathedral in Sioux Falls later this year, and Sweet Sioux Falls, a score to mark the cityâ�?�?s sesquicentennial.
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