Senior writes fanfare for graduation

By Sammy Roth

Before graduating seniors receive their diplomas at Commencement June 11, they will march across Ted Slavin Field to the sounds of a fanfare written by Jeffrey Dastin ’10.

Dastin’s fanfare will be played in addition to the traditional graduation music, Sir Edward Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance.”

Orchestra instructor Mark Hilt asked Dastin, along with a few other student musicians, to write fanfares. He said that other student fanfares might be played in addition to Dastin’s.

Dastin said his fanfare is distinctly different from “Pomp and Circumstance” but will complement the piece nicely.

“I wanted to create a piece that sounded new and interesting but was appropriate for the event, and for that reason my piece doesn’t sound anything like Mozart or Beethoven or anything like that,” Dastin said. “Instead of having major cords and minor cords I come up with a different sound, and it sounds very open, it sounds very grand and stately, but I think it’s very appropriate for any march or graduation event.”

Music at Commencement will be played by orchestra students as well as some professional musicians. Hilt said that fanfares are always played at graduation in addition to “Pomp and Circumstance,” because the piece would have to be played many times to last for the whole march.

“We had some fanfares that we had been using for graduation for a while that I thought were kind of tired,” Hilt said. “I knew that there were some composers in this class, and I wanted to give them a chance to do something.”

Even though Dastin’s fanfare is difficult to play, Hilt said it will “definitely” be played, even if just by the professional musicians.

Dastin has studied music composition for the last two years with a professor from the Colburn School Conservatory of Music, a Los Angeles music school.

“I hope that everybody likes the piece. I think that it’s a great experience for me as a composer because I’ll get to hear a full ensemble play the piece,” Dastin said. “It’ll help me grow because I’ve heard my pieces played before but never for such a large event, so it’ll be a very nice learning experience.”

“It will sound very declamatory,” he said.  “Like, this is our class, we’re ready to graduate and go out into the world.”