That Summer: A Fantasia on Family
Scored for: TTBB chorus, 2 percussion and piano
Text: Tom Gualtieri
Duration: 17 minutes
Premiere: 6/3/16, Prince Theater, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Commissioned by: Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, Joseph Buches, Artistic Director
Published by: Self-published, Angelfire Press
Contact Andrea Clearfield for score and parts:
See preview score pages: That Summer score excerpt
PGMC Premieres Choral Piece about GLBTQ Families
By Lewis Whittington in Metro (Philadelphia) and Edge (NYC), June 3, 2017
(note: This is a rough recording. A better one will be up shortly)
Composer Andrea Clearfield and librettist Tom Gualtieri composed their cantata That Summer: A Fantasia on Family, to musically explore the historical arc of LGBTQ people achieving marriage equality in their own country. Inspired by the real-life experiences of members of the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus, That Summer powerfully and eloquently expresses the truth, soul and heart of their stories.
–Lewis Whittington, arts journalist
Notes by the librettist:
The text of this work was created through a series of interviews, both live
and virtual, with members of the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus and other
LGBT folk who were willing to share their stories. It was crafted using their
words which were, in some cases, more poetic and truthful than anything I
could have invented. I am grateful to the community for the opportunity to
add my voice to theirs. – Tom Gualtieri
Notes by the composer:
This cantata, scored for men’s chorus, piano and percussion, is structured in 3 movements.
The harmonic and instrumental colors, melodic and rhythmic motifs as well as underlying
textures and overarching formal ideas are driven by the text. The work is a fantasy on
“Family”: from I (remembering/dreaming/questioning) to II (personal story/struggles
around rules and identity/humor) and III (transformation/opening to the broader space of love).
There are recurring musical motifs that are developed, combined and varied throughout.
These include the 2-note ascending theme to the words “that summer” and its longer
version that rises like a question, and the repeated note theme to the declamation
“I was one of the ones”. The cantata is both personal and archetypal, employing the large
forces of the full chorus, smaller subsets of chamber chorus and individual solos and is
a reflection on what was, what is and what may be possible in family and in love. It was an
honor to write this work and to collaborate with Joseph Buches, Tom Gualtieri and the chorus.
- Andrea Clearfield