Day Dawn, The (version for amateur orchestra) (1997)
Commissioned by Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs.
First performance: COMA Summer School String Orchestra, Bretton Hall, West Yorkshire, 01 Jan 1997
Category: string orchestral
Day Dawn, The
Location: archive collection
The Day Dawn is based on an old Shetland fiddle tune of the same name, which (as John Purser notes in his book, Scotland's Music) was traditionally played at the Winter Solstice to mark the dawn of the lengthening days.
Dedicated to a friend, who was living in Shetland when she lost her young daughter 15 years ago, the piece symbolizes new beginnings, recalling the sense of calm she felt the day of the funeral, dawning bright after a week of rain.
Commissioned for the 1997 summer school organized by Contemporary Music-Making for Amateurs, its eleven parts can be played by any combination of string instruments, and is one of a growing number of works Beamish has written for amateur musicians, including a nativity musical for the village where she lives.