Thursday, March 18, 2010

Post-Iditarod Tribute to Joe Redington, Sr.

Back in the very early 90s, I got to know Joe Redington, Sr. who would sometimes read to the kids at Tanaina Elementary in Wasilla, where my wife taught. In 1992, to commemorate and honor Joe's last Iditarod race, I wrote Fanfare and Capriccio, and dedicated it to Joe. He came to the premiere, and asked that the Anchorage Symphony "play it real loud, 'cause I'm as deaf as a post."

They did. The members also gave Joe a poster, signed by each person in the orchestra, and by Director Stephen Stein, who conducted the work.

Here's Fanfare and Capriccio as we played it for Joe.

The story line is this:

The work opens and closes with a fanfare, saluting Alaska's winter festivals and those who participate in them. The main musher's theme is introduced after the opening fanfare. A series of episodes, using this theme as their base describe:

The beginning of the trail
Hardships of severe weather
Celebrations in towns along the way
The magnificent vistas of the Alaska Range
An eery night scene with the Northern Lights, accompanied by Athabaskan fiddling
The race along the coast
And - finally - triumph in Nome

image - Joe Redington Sr. - by Joan Bugbee Jackson


Martha Unalaska Yard Sign said...

Dear Joe, we miss him! What a lovely tribute, I'm listening now. There's all sorts of action in there - changing scenery, critters, cold hands, beautiful dog backs and happy dog breaths.

John Creed said...

Joe Redington Sr. was a great Alaskan.