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Flagello, Orange Wide_edited_edited.jpg
The profile of Gala Flagello in a checkered dress with closed eyes turning away from the camera.


Year Composed





Wind quintet - flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn

Program Notes

Matriarch, written for the 2020 Michigan Music Teachers Association Commissioned Composer Prize, was inspired by my two grandmothers, Dianne Flagello and Olive Herring, who were matriarchs in every sense of the word. From them, I learned how to lead, energize, forgive, empathize, persevere, and, most relevantly to this piece, evolve. Grandma and Nanny are true role models, and this made me wonder what parts of myself come from them. When I react to a difficult situation or celebrate an accomplishment, the way in which I do it is borne of the family who came before me. Matriarch uses musical material based on my own name to demonstrate how we learn to move through the world through the lives of our ancestors. The Gala Flagello theme encounters many twists and turns as it adapts to changes in its environment (texture), headspace (range), personal circle (voicing), and age (duration). When I reach 90, as Grandma will this year, or 93, like Nanny did, I hope to be even half the matriarch these women represent to me. Special thanks to the Michigan Music Teachers Association and Music Teachers National Association for supporting the Commissioned Composer Prize, and to Pure Winds for premiering Matriarch and championing new music for wind quintet.

Additional Information

Commissioned by Michigan Music Teachers Association and the Music Teachers National Association and written for Pure Winds



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