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Program Notes



W. Francis McBeth, composer

Kaddish was commissioned by and dedicated to Howard Dunn and the Richardson High School Band of Richardson, Texas. The premier performance was in March 1976 with the composer conducting. The Kaddish is the Jewish prayer for the dead. It is said by the bereaved each morning and evening for eleven months, then on each anniversary of the death thereafter. The composition was written as a memorial for James Clifton Williams, beloved teacher of Francis McBeth. The "heartbeat" that runs throughout the piece in the percussion is a rhythmic quote from a measure in the Chorale of William’s Caccia and Chorale.

—published score


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