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We Bring Flowers

“This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.” - Leonard Bernstein

The Latest Update

Court Suite by Amanda Harberg a huge success!

Posted on June 24, 2017 by Cobus du Toit

The two new compositions funded by New Music USA form part of a much larger project. The #WeBringFlowers campaign is my way of dealing with current world affairs through the lens of a composer’s vantage point, trying to find healing through their way of dealing with troubling circumstances. Creating an outlet for anger and sadness through music is extremely therapeutic. Building community through art and the idea of creating a complete recital of socially conscious works for flute and piano, feels like a lasting antidote to violence in some way.

The only guidelines I provide the composers is that the composition has to be for flute and piano (auxiliary instruments allowed) and has to either confront, or directly revolt against the violence that is so prevalent in society today. The first commission by Amanda Harberg has just been completed and will be premiered at the National Flute Association Convention in Minneapolis, MN this year. The premiere of the Sonata will be on 08/13/2017 on the Celebrating American Women Composers program in Room L100 IJ from 11am-12pm. Ms. Harberg will be the pianist for the premiere.

Ms. Harberg’s solution was to turn to physical exercise as her way of making sense of the world.  Court Dances for flute and piano is a 14 minute work in the traditional slow, fast, slow format with movement titles Topspin, Air de Cour and Match Point. Court Dances was a consortium commission of flutists across the globe and finished with a total of 57 co-comissioners! 

Here is a list of all the contributors:

Asako Arai
Claudia Anderson
Christine Erlander Beard
Bel Canto Flute Academy
Danielle Breisach
Cindy Anne Broz
Elizabeth Buck
Jenny Cline
Sheryl Cohen
Cady Coleman
Julietta Curenton
Monica Daniel-Barker
Susan Davis
Michelle Demko
James Donahue
Penny Douglas
Brian Dunbar
Katherine Emeneth
Jill Felber
Janet Fitchuk
Brad Garner
Lisa Garner Santa
Eileen Grycky
Paula Gudmundson
Christine Gustafson
Kristin Hayes
Lois Bliss Herbine
Kim Hickey
Emily Kaplan
Jennifer Keeney
Robert Langevin
Stephen Lee
Eric Leise
Nadine Luke
Carolyn May
James Miller
Mary Beth Norris
September Payne
George Pope
Gretchen Pusch
Karen Johnson
Lucian Rinando
Beth Ross Buckley
Geri Rotella-Rotter
Silver Flight Ensembles and Foundation
Laura Schulkind
Nickolas Stavros
Kate Steinbeck
Wendy Stern
Julie Duncan Thornton
Phiroze Titina
Megan Trach
Jim Walker
Susan Waller
Mila M. Weiss
Tammy Evans Yonce
Alan Zaring

In addition to the great success of the consortium commission, I received word from Peter Westbrook, the Editor-in-Chief at www.flutejournal.com, that the article about the #WeBringFlowers project has been read over 2000 times. Here is the link: http://flutejournal.com/we-bring-flowers-amanda-harberg-consortium-commission/ 


After the Paris attacks in November 2015 I felt a strong calling to bring socially conscious art into the world. The #WeBringFlowers project is a two year long journey commissioning composers to write works for flute and piano that either revolt against or courageously confront the violence that is prevalent in modern society.

I was inspired after hearing a conversation between a father and his son following the Paris attacks. The toddler was understandably scared of what happened close to his home and was telling the reporter that his whole family would have to leave Paris. As people were putting down flowers for the victims, the father explained that flowers were more powerful than guns and that the flowers were there to protect them. The poise and courage that the father displayed will stay with me forever. I named the project after the concept of taking something beautiful and non-threatening and turning it into something that holds a tremendous amount of power.

The culmination of these commissions will be a tour with my duo partner Doreen Lee, presenting the complete recital of socially conscious works. The tour will conclude with a Carnegie Hall recital in New York City.

Project Media

They might have guns but we have flowers

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A father and his little son share the most heart-warming conversation during an interview at the scene of the Bataclan attacks.

Corridor Voices – Nathan Hall
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Features: Nathan Hall

Nathan Hall, composer and Creative-in-Residence developed an installation of recorded voices in the bridge between old and new buildings of the Denver Art Museum.

Todesvogel: II. Bewegt – Jared Redmond
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Premier recording of Todesvogel by the duToit/Lee duo.

Start and End Dates



Amherst, Massachusetts

1 update
Last update on June 24, 2017

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Denver, Colorado
Berkeley, California


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