Merengue for Orchestra
The Merengue for Orchestra (2004) is my first orchestral work, and one of several pieces of mine that are inspired by the music of Latin America. The merengue (pronounced “me-RAIN-gay”) is a dance that originates in the Dominican Republic. It is typically a fast duple-meter dance for couples with an incessant, pounding pulse and a generally high dynamic level. Its characteristic rhythms are played on two instruments, the tambora (a double-headed drum) and the metal güiro (a scraper instrument). The Merengue for Orchestra features these characteristic instruments, and it might be considered a percussion showpiece, as there is an extended section in the middle for percussion solos. It was written especially for Michael Blaney and the UL Lafayette Sympony Orchestra, and I thank them sincerely for bringing it to life. ¡Gracias!