He studied piano intermittently as a child and joined a junior high marching band under band leader Jim Burnett. Later Whitacre played synthesizer in a techno-pop band, dreaming of being a rock star. Whitacre credits Weiller with the inspiration that put the young composer on the musical path. Tom Leslie contributed to his interest in writing for wind ensembles. He lived in the State of Nevada until he was
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At the time I was interested only in synthesizers and Depeche Mode, and so I auditioned as a music major because it seemed the best thing to do before I hit the big time.
And then I joined the choir. David Weiller , the choral conductor at UNLV, auditioned me to sing in one of his groups and graciously accepted me into the big University chorus. I distinctly remember how weird I thought the choir people were, with their embarrassing stretches and warm-ups, and undoubtedly the only reason I stayed in class that first week was because there were so many cute girls in the soprano section.
It was like seeing color for the first time, and I was regularly moved to tears during rehearsals, crushed by the impossible beauty of the work. I became a choral geek of the highest magnitude, I mean I lived for rehearsals and performances, and through it all there was David Weiller. The man is simply a brilliant educator and a fantastic musician, that one special teacher that ends up changing the entire course of your life. I was accepted into the advanced choir in my 2nd year.
My very first concert piece! Soon after their publication I started receiving actual commissions for my music, and my life as a professional artist took off. I often think how lucky I was to have stumbled blindly to the place where David was teaching, and in retrospect I am struck speechless at the thought that our paths might not have crossed.
Were it not for Maestro David Weiller I would have had a drastically different life, and it is to him, with infinite love and overwhelming gratitude, that I have dedicated these works. The Text I hide myself within my flower that wearing on your breast, You, unsuspecting wear me too and angels know the rest. I hide myself within my flower that fading from your vase, you, unsuspecting feel for me almost a loneliness… With A Lily In Your Hand With a lily in your hand I leave you, o my night love!
Little widow of my single star I find you.
Go Lovely Rose Lyrics
Go Lovely Rose Lyrics