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The Life in Your Years (2021)

for wind ensemble


When Keith Griffis asked me to write a piece for Aria, a flute player that passed away during her freshman year, I was incredibly moved by her story. In addition to playing flute in the band at Sickles High School, Aria was also a graceful dancer. Therefore I knew that the flute section would play a prominent role in this piece and some of the music would hint at elegant woodwind/metallic percussion flourishes, reminiscent of a flashy ballet dance move. It was also important to Aria’s parents that the music not be overly sad, thus the music that you hear, 

even through occasional darkness, is hopeful in nature. 


As I wrote this piece, I came across a profound quote:


“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

-Abraham Lincoln


Despite her passing at such a young age, Aria was loved by all who knew 

her and even with her illness, was known for having a vivacious personality. 

I think this - more than anything else -captures her spirit in the most amazing light. Aria might not have lived many years, but the life she lived will never be forgotten. 

Commissioned and premiered by Keith Griffis

and the Walter L. Sickles High School Wind Ensemble

Sample Score





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