From David R. Gillingham, the composer of "The Echo Never Fades"
When James Kull, conductor of the St. Charles East High School Wind Ensemble in St. Charles, Illinois, called me and asked if I would write a work such as this, I was reluctant. I closed the conversation by saying I would think it over. In the days that followed I began to receive e-mails from students about the loss of their friend, Tyler Caruso. They shared their grief and their fondest memories of a young man who was highly regarded by his peers and by the community. I was truly moved and agreed to write a piece of music which would honor and pay tribute to the memory of such a fine human being.
After starting work on the piece last month, I received an e-mail from Tyler's mother, Marilyn Caruso, who attached information on the Tyler Bell Caruso Memorial Scholarship. This gave me the final piece of information that helped me put this work together. And, most recently, the title came as a suggestion from a friend of Tyler's, who found the phrase, "the echo never fades" in a poem written by Tyler. The members of the wind ensemble unanimously agreed that this would be a wonderful and appropriate title for the work.
The melody, sung by the alto saxophone at the beginning of the work, comprises the sole melodic material of the work. This represents "Tyler's theme" and seems to be apropos as Tyler played the alto saxophone. The melody is filled with warmth, which I hope expresses Tyler Caruso's character.
From the onset of the work, one should notice that this is not an elegy for Tyler, but an expression of admiration and celebration of his life. The alto saxophone melody segues into a proud and courageous statement (derived from the theme) played dramatically by the brass with the woodwinds answering with phrases of Tyler's theme. Tyler was a leader in both the school and the community and the music of this section expresses that leadership. Following is a key change and a joyous statement of "Tyler's theme" by the full ensemble, representing the many people whose lives were touched by Tyler - a loving celebration.
A piano solo follows with a sentimental rendition of the "Tyler theme," followed by the full ensemble with a sort of closing idea based on the theme. The work closes with the alto saxophone again singing the theme with echoes in the flutes, bells and vibraphone followed by heavenly ascending chords in the piano leading to a final and peaceful ending in C major.
-David R. Gillingham
So you see how much this song really means. We played it in band, and it was absolutely beautiful. I hope this helps add more meaning to it. I felt the need to add this so you'll know why the song was written in the first place.
Thank you to linda., a good Mibba pal of mine, who translated those Italian phrases into Italian for me. Couldn't have done it without ya:)