How can one tell the story of
But then composer
"I wanted something pretty, something that reminded us these were two great kids," he said.
The piece, titled With Time as the Unknown, will be the second to the last selection played at the school's annual spring concert, which begins at
It's an emotional end to a school year that is winding down without the presence of
They, along with their father,
The pain of their loss was deep and personal for band members, said high school band director
"Especially with band kids, if you ask any of them, they will tell you this is home away from home," Wagner said. "This is their family."
Fleischaker fondly recalled when he started working with
"Over the years, we've seen her blossom and become the woman she was," he said.
And Wagner spoke of how David's friends were helping him learn his new instrument.
"To see the peer mentorship was great," Wagner said. "David was just starting to come out of his shell."
Saturday won't be the first time school musicians will honor
Fleischaker chuckled: "It's a silly piece, a silly cartoon, but it had such a different meaning for us at that moment."
The band will march to both of those songs at next weekend's Cherry Blossom Parade.
But the piece being performed Saturday is an original.
Barber, a 1969
"I responded right away because it's a worthwhile project," he said.
Barber said he's been composing nearly all his life. While he didn't know his subjects personally, he read about them and drew on his decades of experience working with young musicians.
The first two parts of the musical piece -- the anger, the joy -- came easily, Barber said.
It was the third part he struggled with, he said.
"I didn't want to end on a downer. I wanted something upbeat and hopeful. That's where I ran into trouble. I couldn't see anything upbeat about the situation," Barber said. "It was the worst writer's block I ever had."
Fleischaker sent Barber the school's alma mater to inspire him, and it worked.
Barber said it reminded him that
Using some "heavily disguised" parts of the alma mater, Barber said he was finally able to complete his mission.
Fleischaker said he hopes the music will help in the healing process for the survivors.
"I want them to come away from this not remembering the gruesome details of
The song, nearly five minutes long, includes a clarinet solo for
That's what the whole experience has done, agreed some band members who lingered after a rehearsal session on Thursday.
"It shows that even after stuff like this happens, we can come together as a band family," said senior
"It's definitely made us stronger, and made us closer," agreed
Asked if they hear
"Oh yes," she said. "It's hopeful and happy, and she was always full of hope and happiness."
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