Grade 2 1/2 (1:58)
|Gary P. Gilroy|
The Phoenix was composed as a closing number for the 2013 Merced County Junior High School Honor Band and was premiered with the composer conducting on January 26, 2013. The composition is dedicated to recently retired and longtime music educator, Gregory Christiansen. Since 1977 Mr. Christiansen has been shaping the lives of young musicians. After teaching for a number of years in Pleasanton, California (near the San Francisco bay area), Greg Christiansen moved to Merced High School in Californiaís rich agricultural central valley. Following 10 very successful years at Merced High School and an appearance in the Pasadena Rose Parade, Mr. Christiansen opened Mercedís new Golden Valley High School and remained there for 16 years. Again Mr. Christiansen developed one of the stateís most successful programs making yet another appearance in the Pasadena Rose Parade. All of the concert bands at Golden Valley High School received unanimous superior ratings since the opening of the school through Gregís retirement in 2012, a testament to his great teaching. A highlight for Gregory Christiansen is seeing his former students continue on in music to become very successful in their own careers. Mr. Christiansen is nothing short of a legendary music educator in the state of California, recreating himself, much like a Phoenix, as a success story among band programs at one school after another. It is the composerís great pleasure to dedicate this work to the lifetime achievement of his longtime friend and colleague, Mr. Gregory Christiansen.