DC, USA — Musicians graced the United States Capitol Wednesday for the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
There was a special Connecticut connection to sounds from the United States Marine Band. The band played a fanfare by Composer Peter Boyer, an alumnus of the Hartt School at the University of Hartford, as part of the one-hour prelude music for the inauguration.
“I was hearing the piece in the background as President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris were arriving and coming out of their cars in front of the United States Capitol,” Composer Peter Boyer said. “As that’s happening I’m actually hearing my piece being played in the background and that’s something. Quite a surreal moment I have to say.”
Boyer, more commonly known as a composer for orchestras like the Boston Pops and Cincinnati Pops, and for his Grammy-nominated work Ellis Island: The Dream of America, first collaborated with the Marine Band in 2018 for their 220th anniversary. He reached out to them after the election was called for then President-elect Biden, to offer his services if the band needed music for the inauguration. He received an invite on Jan 1.
“It’s certainly a very exciting moment for an American composer,” Boyer said. “It’s certainly a great honor to be invited to contribute music in some fashion to the inauguration of the president of the United States.”
He turned a shorter simpler segment, originally composed for a French horn into a fanfare.
“It was quite a challenge because of the time frame and just the weight of the moment, but obviously a very exciting thing to be a part of,” Boyer said.
Larry Alan Smith, Dean of the Hartt School, at the University of Hartford, was Dean and a Professor of Composition when Boyer attended the university.
“He sent me a note a few days ago to let me know this was happening and I was really proud for him and of him,” Dean Smith said. “It’s terrific and I hope it gets many many performances.”
Boyer says he is grateful for his education from the Hartt School.
“It’s a very special moment and one that really is in many ways unexpected,” Boyer said
Boyer hopes to premiere new music in the fall of 2023.