This post is part of an ongoing series featuring recorded music, stories, and narrative from my forthcoming book: Music in the Westward Expansion: Songs of Heart and Place on the American Frontier.
Clyde O. Andrews composed his award-winning “Nocturne” in 1907 while studying music at at Western University in Quindaro, Kansas. I found this musical gem (the sheet music) in the Kansas Historical Society digital archives while conducting research for my book. Playing this piece of music makes me feel calm, hopeful, and connected to a fellow musician from the past. Though this piece was written over a hundred years ago, it still resonates as a musical respite in challenging times.
Clyde Andrews wrote on the sheet music cover, “Those who do not reach up, cannot climb.” He also wrote that this particular piece was “dedicated to the uplift and inspiration of my fellow young men and women.” I cannot think of better sentiments for welcoming in a new year. Here’s to 2022-may it be a year bursting with inspiration, beauty, and tranquility.