SHADOW AND LIGHT
AN ALZHEIMER’S JOURNEY IN 16 MOVEMENTS
by Joan Szymko
Commissioned by the Eugene Concert Choir,
Diane Retallack, Artistic Director
World Premiere Performance
CD Audio Recording
Shadow and Light; an Alzheimer’s Journey in 16 movements by Joan Szymko
Concert video and video documentary: The Story of Shadow and Light; Giving Voice to an Alzheimer’s Journey
Love Prevails. Love Endures. Share it.
Please help us bring this powerful artistic work to memory care facilities and libraries by donating to our generosity by INDIEGOGO campaign.
All donations are appreciated and every $25 donated will provide one of these DVD/CD packages to a memory care facility or library.
Marietta Simpson, Mezzo soprano
Sarah Joanne Davis, Soprano
Brendan Tuohy, Tenor
Lexy Wellman, Speaker
Diane Retallack, Conductor
Shadow & Light – The story behind the work
The Eugene Concert Choir, under the direction of Dr. Diane Retallack, commissioned a unique choral-orchestral work on the subject of memory loss, such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. Nationally recognized Oregon composer Joan Szymko was selected to undertake this significant project. Szymko gathered personal stories from those afflicted and caregivers, and was both emotionally and creatively impacted by the intimate narratives regarding the challenges, frustrations, despair, hopes, courage, determination, acceptance, and moments of light and tenderness. She worked tirelessly for over a year to translate the stories she collected into music.
Artistic Director Diane Retallack possesses an intimate understanding of the subject matter, through experiences with her mother and grandmother, both of whom had Alzheimer’s. Her desire was to create an artistic work with beauty, sensitivity and dignity, and to provide an artistic outlet for shared experience and catharsis for musicians and audience alike. Performance reviews indicate that this goal was achieved: “poignant, stirring, heartbreaking, unforgettable, cinematic, lush, enjoyable, offers hope, purity of connection between people who simply love each other even if they can’t remember who, what, where or why. This piece should be played everywhere.”
Winner of the American Prize for recorded performance,
Community Division 2016
This project is made possible by The Fred W. Fields Fund Creative Heights Initiative of the Oregon Community Foundation and by the Oregon Cultural Trust with additional support from the Chambers Family Foundation.