World Premiere of "Catapult", by Tulsa's Signature Symphony on July 3, 2018!
"I thought you did a great job with the bowings and marking the parts, there was absolutely no question of anything and it made the rehearsals go very efficiently. I really enjoyed the piece and the energy.....for a one shot premiere performance like this, I thought it was a spectacular success! I also thought the kids were really wonderfully prepared and so excited to be there, that is always an inspiration to me as well!
Best of luck, and I hope to see another collaboration like this one soon!”
"As one of the performers at the premiere, I thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing and performing "Catapult". The string writing is challenging, yet highly idiomatically suited to the instruments. Thus, with less than 30 minutes of rehearsal time, a very attractive performance was able to be achieved. I'm sure that future performances will be even more spectacular."
"I am honored to have commissioned "Catapult". The piece brings an incredible positive energy to the musicians on stage and to the audience, creating an electricity that links everyone together. Its changing and shifting melodies and cultures shows a unity within the diversity of its notes. Karen's love and hope is apparent in every note.”
“It was both a joy and a challenge to put together Ms. Harmon’s piece in just one short rehearsal for our Signature Symphony concert in July. The meter changes, diverse melodies throughout the piece, and the various styles mixed together made for some tricky transitions, but also made it more fun to perform. My favorite passages to perform were those in Gypsy style. It’s in these times I get to channel my “Klezmer Clarinet” side and let loose for that moment in time. Ms. Harmon’s message of “hope after tragedy” resounds with so many of us right now, and I love that she leaves us with the musical message of “hope” for a brighter tomorrow."
'Karen Naifeh Harmon’s brilliant composition is absolutely magical. “Catapult” embodies a vast array of emotions but ultimately ends with hopefulness. She intricately intertwines all of the sections of the orchestra, and her experience as a world traveler is evident in the different sections of the piece. Each change of mood is like traveling to a new mysterious place. There is obvious pain and struggling, the beautiful violin solo cries out in sadness. The piece adventures to a climax, then ends peacefully and elegantly. The fact that the Tulsa Honors Orchestra students had the opportunity to play a piece their teacher composed side by side with the Tulsa Signature Symphony is a memory that they will never forget. The world debut of “Catapult” leaves the audience eager to hear what Karen Naifeh Harmon composes next.”
"The “Catapult” premiere experience with the Tulsa Signature Symphony was simply amazing. Mrs Naifeh Harmon embodies what a true teacher is for students by providing this opportunity. To be able to play with a full symphony a composition their teacher wrote, the students are able to see the work it takes in composing, practice, and performance. I can only imagine the impact this will have on all the students who participated.”
"The experience of playing in a professional orchestra with a professional cellist was incredible for my daughter Natalie. It helped her to grow as a musician and inspired her to practice even more than usual. It taught her to really think musically and focus on the dynamics of the composition "Catapult" as well as her cello technique. I am so happy and thankful that she was able to have this incredible opportunity! It would be wonderful if she and other students could have more experiences like this in the future!”
"It was hard work but very fun and an overall great experience to go through. It felt really good to put all that effort and time into preparing for the final performance." - Lola
"Playing with the Symphony musicians gave my daughter a look into her future. This can only be attained with diligence and practice that was displayed preparing for this beautiful performance. Bravo on Catapult's end result!"
- Proud mother, Hana
"The opportunity to learn and play a song by a local composer was an incredible experience. Being partnered with a professional violinist, expected to practice as any other member of the symphony, and being led by a maestro is an experience of a lifetime.
My daughter wants to be a score writer.
She was able to see the process of
creating a composition, putting heart, soul, sweat and tears into that piece,
asking for input from other professionals and learning to take that constructive criticism in a positive way, making many changes to that composition, then, feeling the joy of playing the composition and hearing a professional symphony play it, followed by the audience cheering enthusiastically.
I saw her grow as a musician through participation in collaboration with the Tulsa Signature Symphony. It may have solidified her life path."
"I really appreciated playing with the symphony due to the experience of being paired with a professional. This helped me improve my performance by watching the technique of the professional sitting next to me. The Maestro’s conducting was different than Ms. Karen’s and Ms. Jody’s styles. This allowed me to observe a variety of methods. I loved being able to be a part of the process of playing “Catapult.” Seeing it in its beginning stages and then playing it after Ms. Karen reworked it several times showed me the process and the amount of work required to get it perfect.
I liked practicing so much for it, because then the performance really felt like an accomplishment. Being a part of the premiere performance was fun because I knew the audience hadn’t heard it before.
The song itself had the most exciting rhythms of any song I’ve ever played."
"I think that the whole experience of Catapult was amazing for all concerned!
From the perspective of my son, Sam, he has now learned many things about music that he never had an opportunity to do before that will be valuable in his future musical endeavors. (composing and arranging music for film). He saw how much work and planning and practice is required for it to all come together. He saw how life experience and emotion translates into a moving work of art. He learned how to work in a professional manner with his adult symphony partner. And above all he got to share in the joy of being part of bringing this amazing piece to an audience that totally enjoyed it! It was 100 percent positive for all."
"Catapult was a true journey that led all of our orchestra members to a new experience. Karen Naifeh Harmon shared her composition to her students in the advanced orchestra. While in the process of learning the composition, we all experienced growth that may not have occurred without Catapult!"
"Celtic Princess of the Danube” is written in honor of the Celtic Princess that German archaeologists discovered in 2010 in the Danube heartland.
"Catapult" received a second performance by the TCC Community Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Pete Peterson at the TCC PACE Center on Monday, March 4, 2019. Erica Parker who commissioned this work spoke to the audience before the performance. This performance was received with a standing ovation!
A possible idea in the works is to arrange "Catapult" for Symphonic Band! This will lead to a third performance and beyond. I studied Clarinet at Interlochen Arts Academy and also played saxophone. I am very excited about this opportunity to venture back into the world of Symphonic Band and to open up this piece for other various ensembles.
The opening rhythmic "heart beat", "Latido del Corazon", sets the mood for the Bach Cello Suite theme symbolizing hope. The middle section is full of exotic flavors with Arabic, Latin and Gyspy influences, with some real twists and turns, Lydian scales, Gypsy melodies, moving from tertian to quartal and quintal harmonies in thinking of Aaron Copland. The shifting rhythms pays homage to Leonard Bernstein. The ending revisits the theme of hope in an epic style!