A lodestar is a point in the sky that guides travelers through the night. It can also be defined as an inspirational person or model. As musicians, we all have influential figures in our lives. The ones who teach us, the ones who motivate us, and the ones that continue to guide us. Lodestar is a piece that aims to pay tribute to our mentors while encapsulating the learning process.
The piece is a play on a classic rondo framed by an introduction and coda. The opening is meant to invoke the mystery of approaching something new. What follows in this quasi-rondo is an A section that is repeated 3 times with alternating passages of new material. The intervening music represents the progress of learning while the returns to the A section reveal new viewpoints on the same material. Each iteration has something new – more intricate rhythms, changing harmonies, and varying textures. The coda is the climax and synthesis of all of these ideas, representing the understanding of the learner and the satisfaction of the mentor.
Lodestar was commissioned and written for Gretchen Renshaw James, Nancy and Craig Wood Odyssey Associate Professor of Music, Hendrix College
This piece is contains two solo parts. The A part is the original solo part. The B part is meant for musicians that may not have access to extended ranges and advanced technical abilities.
Pianists: please be sure to check which version of the solo is being performed. Both scores are included.