Grade 1 1/2 (3:05)
|Gary P. Gilroy|
"Ghost Town was composed for Lola Sutherland and her Pacific Union Elementary School Concert Band of Fresno, California. The work gives elementary school students the opportunity to play something lyric and musical without tremendous technical demands. The composer has known Mrs. Sutherland for several decades and has enjoyed hearing her school band perform other Gilroy compositions. Students in the Pacific Union Elementary School Concert Band were excited to premiere another of Gilroy's compositions, A Ruckus in Murphys, in the spring of 2012. Bodie, California is one of the most well preserved Ghost Towns in California. The Bodie State Historic Park welcomes more than 200,000 curious visitors each year. Some come to see the old church while others come to see what is left of the Wells Fargo Bank and the remains of the safe from the once thriving financial hub of this former boomtown. Still others come to read the gravestones in the cemetery of this important gold rush town that has been called one of the wildest gold mining boomtowns in the west. In 1859 four prospectors found gold in the hills surrounding Bodie, California. When news of the find spread throughout the world many more prospectors followed looking to find a new and rich life through this mineral wealth. By 1879 the population of this small town grew to more than 6,000 people. Wakeman S. Body (sometimes spelled Bodey) was one of those original prospectors and the town was named after him. A sign painter misspelled his name on a "Bodie Stables" sign pointing to the town and the new spelling stuck with the residents in the area. In the summer of 2010, composer Gary P. Gilroy visited this wonderful California State Park. He remembers looking through the rather primitive glass windows of some of the buildings and homes and seeing the remaining furniture and other items scattered about the various rooms. One vision that was burned into his memory was that of a small wooden cradle covered with a thick coat of dust. Gilroy tried to imagine that that cradle once held a baby infant in this rough western town. This work is Gilroy's attempt to provide young musicians with a musical portrait of that vision on a very hot and dry day in the Bodie State Historic Park looking through the windows of the old ghost town buildings."