Citronella Sunsets (2020)

Instrumentation: string orchestra (Grade 3)

Duration: 2 minutes, 45 seconds

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Program notes:

Although it can be quite hot in Southern California during the summer, the evenings make it one of my favorite times of the year – a time to watch the symphony at the Bowl, eat outdoors with friends, or go for a stroll at the local market night while the scent of fresh kettle corn fills the air.

One some days, the weather cools down so that it’s just right, even though there’s still quite a bit of warmth around. On others, the three-digit temperatures carry over into the evening, making a night outdoors a little less than ideal.

Unlike some folks I know, I can stand the heat, but I’m much less a fan of the mosquitoes — probably because they seem to be a fan of me! But it won’t stop me from having a good time, and it helps that I don’t mind the smell of citronella, either.

Written for the Portland Youth Philharmonic Young String Ensemble as part of the Youth Orchestra Commissioning Initiative, Citronella Sunsets is a musical ode to summer evenings while making memories with friends and loved ones.