...That the children may learn



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...That the Children May Learn is a 28-minute musical parable about the process by which children are indoctrinated into cultures of war through play, parental influence, and propaganda. Specifically, the composition focuses upon the universality of these overarching sociopolitical structures. It is the composer’s personal response to Igor Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat. Material is often drawn from or related to external sources, particularly national anthems and the so-called “Ur-song,” familiar to individuals of many nations (sol-sol-mi-la-sol-mi). Texts are original or comprise fragments from letters and diaries of soldiers and their families during wartime separation. Performance of the work may be accompanied by an optional multimedia projection, and may be conducted outside of the normal concert setting in an effort to motivate the closer examination by individuals from a broad variety of backgrounds of the issues raised in the piece. The analytical paper discusses the raison d'être for the composition as well as its micro- and macroorganization, and the variety of methods used to reinforce its strength as an agent of communication.