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William Schuman: "George Washington Bridge"

George Washington Bridge

William Schuman

Born August 4, 1910, New York, New York

Died February 15, 1992, New York, New York

Instrumentation: Symphonic Band

Duration: 8 minutes

Composed: 1950

The composer writes,

There are a few days in the year when I do not see George Washington Bridge. I pass it on my way to work as I drive along the Henry Hudson Parkway on the New York shore. Ever since my student days when I watched the progress of its construction, this bridge has had for me an almost human personality, and this personality is astonishingly varied, assuming different moods depending on the time of day or night, the weather, the traffic and, of course, my own mood as I pass by. I have walked across it late at night when it was shrouded in fog, and during the brilliant sunshine hours of midday. I have driven over it countless times and passed under it on boats. Coming to New York City by air, sometimes I have been lucky enough to fly right over it. It is difficult to imagine a more gracious welcome or dramatic entry to the great metropolis.

Editor's note: The photo of the bridge above is similar to what Schuman would have seen driving south on the Henry Hudson Parkway towards his teaching job at Juilliard.

William Schuman, George Washington Bridge

"The President's Own" United States Marine Band, Col. Michael J. Colburn, conductor

Additional Resources:

- UMWO Blog: Schuman Posts

- William Schuman Biography (Music Sales Classical)

- William Schuman Obituary (New York Times)

- Schuman: A Shaper of American Music, and Musicians (Anthony Tommasini, New York Times)

- George Washington Bridge History - Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

- George Washington Bridge (Wikipedia)

#schuman #umwe #programnotes

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