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The Story of Fanfare

The Fanfare for Lake Country by Crawford Gates was commissioned by the Oconomowoc Chamber Orchestra in 2010. The concept was to have a short piece that was vibrant, uplifting, that would be a reflection of life on the lakes.

Written with Oconomowoc and the area’s Lake Country in mind, the last well-known piece written for the area was ‘I Went for a Walk in Oconomowoc’ from approximately 1900. The time seemed right for a new tune! Although the Fanfare for Lake Country was written for the greater Oconomowoc area, with its beautiful lakes, the concept is universal… capturing the impressions and experiences we all have near lakes and water.

Once funding and dates were secure, outreach to a local composer took place, but for several reasons, it was not possible. OCO Music Director Roberta Carpenter reached out to Dr. Crawford Gates, the former Music Director of the Beloit/Janesville, Rockford and Quincy Symphonies, and a noteworthy American composer with compositions for various other Wisconsin locales. The two were well acquainted, as Carpenter had been the substitute Concertmaster and Conductor for the BJSO under Crawford’s direction, and Dr. Gates covered Ms. Carpenter’s Orchestra at UW-Whitewater while she was away during her tenure there in the early 1990s. 

The Fanfare for Lake Country premiered on the OCO’s Debut Concert, July 10th, 2010 at the Oconomowoc Arts Center with Roberta Carpenter conducting. Dr. Gates and his wife Georgia were in the house for rehearsals and the concert, and the piece was received with enthusiasm. The concert was recorded, and an audio and DVD were produced. See Fanfare Blog – part 3 or visit zmusicintl.com for additional recording information.

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