For the Breath

The Centennial Commission

Composed Ike Sturm
Text by Chanda Rule
Arrangement for orchestra by Dean Sorenson


Rochester Symphony is proud to present For the Breath, an original composition commissioned to celebrate the 100 year musical legacy of Rochester Symphony. Originally scheduled to be performed in the 2019/20 Centennial Season, it was now chosen to be performed during the Rochester Symphony concert honoring our community's essential workers. Composed for full orchestra and jazz quartet, and including original text that reflects the generosity of the community that has supported Rochester Symphony for a century, we now present it as a song of celebration and gratitude. 


For the Breath is made possible by the generous contributions of Rochester Symphony patrons who believe in the importance of bringing world class musical opportunities to our region:

Janine Yanisch

Chris Jankowski

Bruce & Vikki Wolff

Los Cuatros Amigos

Mike & Liz Walsh

Nick & Rochelle Pompeian

Rochester Symphony is grateful to be commemorating a 100 year musical legacy with this extraordinary musical project.

Guest Musicians:
performing For the Breath with Rochester Symphony

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Misty Ann Sturm, Vocals

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photo: Zachary Maxwell Stertz

Chris Dingman, Vibraphone

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Godwin Louis, Saxophone

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Ike Sturm, Bass & Composer

For the Breath world premiered at

They Carried the

November 20, 7:30pm

November 21, 2:00pm

Lourdes High School

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From the Composer:  Ike Sturm on For the Breath

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For the Breath was commissioned by the Rochester Symphony Orchestra and Chorale in celebration of their 100th Anniversary. I asked my friend, singer, writer and community builder, Chanda Rule, to compose the text. We chose a prayer by Dag Hammarskjöld as the inspiration for the work: “For all that has been, thank you. For all that is to come, yes!” Dag Hammarskjöld served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, and his Scandinavian roots live on through the heritage of many immigrants in Minnesota.

Chanda's poem brought me to tears the first time I read it. I sought to reflect the form, flow and sentiment of her luminous text through saturated harmonies and long, sustained melodies, echoing the serene, open land surrounding Rochester. The mood shifts and energy builds as we discover “the beauty of togetherness.” The contemplative nature of the entire work relates to the kind souls and generous spirits of the people who inhabit this land.

I believe the prayer speaks to the heart of all that is to be celebrated in the vibrant musical history in Rochester. I’m grateful to my friend Chris Jankowski for this opportunity and the leadership of Artistic Director Jere Lantz. The full arrangement of this work for symphony orchestra was realized by arranger and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota, Dean Sorenson. It is meaningful to be able to collaborate with Dean as a friend, orchestrator, and Minnesota resident. As we collectively give thanks for the loving support and sacrifice of this community for lifting up the voice of the Rochester Symphony for the past century, we look toward a brilliant future ahead and welcome all that is in store: “Yes!"

-Ike Sturm

For the Breath collaborating artists:

photo: Andrea Canter

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Chanda Rule, singer & writer

For the Breath original text

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Dean Sorenson, Director of Jazz Studies - University of Minnesota

For the Breath arrangement for orchestra

photo: Andrea Canter