In the musical world, there are many creative people with many creative ideas, but often just a handful who also have the skill, ability, and persistence to raise the funds necessary to realize their visions.
Today, a tip of the hat to the American composer John Duffy, who, in 1982, was President of Meet the Composer, an organization which secured funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and additional foundations for a large-scale residency program that paired rising American composers with major American orchestras. The composers included John Corigliano, Joan Tower, Stephen Paulus, Christopher Rouse, Libby Larsen, and Alvin Singleton. Each wrote special works for their orchestras, works which were premiered and recorded as part of the program—a major career boost for any young composer.
For example, Alvin Singleton was the composer chosen for the Atlanta residency, and on today’s date in 1988, that orchestra premiered this piece titled “After Fallen Crumbs.”
The unusual title doesn’t refer to arts funding, however, apt as it may be in many cases. The title derives from an earlier choral piece by Singleton, whose text dealt with world hunger, and closed with the lines, “An ant can feed a family with the fallen crumbs of an elephant.”