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Women at the Watering Hole, Early August (2019)

BY REAGAN CASTEEL

Women at the Watering Hole, Early August is a setting of a poem (below) by Olivia Alger, a poet and creative writer I had the pleasure of meeting while attending Interlochen. The piece explores nostalgia, particularly in the context of female role models. Women at the Watering Hole… was read and recorded by the Eastman Chorale in March of 2019.

Hotter than a July birthday cake, the way the wind pours
the brandy and bitters over the sugar.
Drinks in the backyard, the women in their lawn chairs
above,
steel magnolias
beginning the second half of
an odyssey.
Ice against the glasses
and in the bedroom, the sawdust light
coming through the blinds. Is it really
the whole truth — an oath, I swear,
under the swollen poplar trees and the smell of lemongrass tea,
plums getting ripe in the garden. The sound
of wind through their hairspray,
walking through mud and the jet setting on the sprinklers,
where we played with gardenias and the dogwood branches.
Chewing orange slices as garnish and blades of grass
between toes.
Unrecognizable at dusk, Southern Comfort
and lavender and legal pads and cellulite skin.
Unrecognizable at dusk, Southern Comfort
and lavender and legal pads and cellulite skin.
Familiarity and flowers
sitting at their feet.


The Ghost (2018)

BY REAGAN CASTEEL

Written for Eastman student Michele Currenti, The Ghost uses text from Sara Teasdale (below), and has been orchestrated for full orchestra, as well as wind ensemble. This work was recorded by the Eastman School Symphony Orchestra and the Eastman Wind Ensemble as part of their 2018 Orchestration Class Readings.

I went back to the clanging city,
I went back where my old loves stayed,
But my heart was full of my new love's glory,
My eyes were laughing and unafraid.

I met one who had loved me madly
And told his love for all to hear --
But we talked of a thousand things together,
The past was buried too deep to fear.

I met the other, whose love was given
With never a kiss and scarcely a word --
Oh, it was then the terror took me
Of words unuttered that breathed and stirred.

Oh, love that lives its life with laughter
Or love that lives its life with tears
Can die -- but love that is never spoken
Goes like a ghost through the winding years. . . .

I went back to the clanging city,
I went back where my old loves stayed,
My heart was full of my new love's glory, --
But my eyes were suddenly afraid.

 

Whakaari (2016)

BY REAGAN CASTEEL

Whakaari was written in Reagan’s senior year at Interlochen Arts Academy as an exploration of music’s theatrical abilities. This performance features Justin Best (clarinet), Faith Helgeson (Flute), Dan McGee (Vibraphone), and Reagan Casteel (Piano).

Flight 3152 Requesting Permission for Takeoff (2016)

BY REAGAN CASTEEL

Written in Reagan’s senior year at Interlochen Arts Academy, Flight 3152 Requesting Permission for Takeoff was inspired by the first time she returned to Tennessee after moving to Michigan. This recording features the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra.

Raindrops (2015)

BY REAGAN CASTEEL

Published by Row-Loff Percussion, Raindrops was Reagan’s first solo work, performed and recorded at Interlochen Arts Camp by Oliver Xu.

As The Earth Turns (2015)

BY REAGAN CASTEEL

As The Earth Turns was Reagan’s major project while attending Interlochen Arts Camp, and was read and recorded the World Youth Wind Symphony.