New music written to be a bumpy ride

Thursday, April 17, 2008 | 4:49 p.m. CDT; updated 8:56 a.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008

COLUMBIA — “Bumpy” is not a word people typically associate with classical music. But it’s the term composer Patrick Dell chose as the tempo marking for his new piece, “Caustic Ride.”

On Saturday, the Columbia Civic Orchestra, directed by Stefan Freund, will play the 2006 MU graduate’s work in its world premiere. In this latest piece, Dell said he tried to create big swabs of sound but aimed to keep it fun with a driving groove underneath the melody.


WHAT: “Caustic Ride,” a new work by MU graduate Patrick Dell, is part of a program by the Columbia Civic Orchestra, with violin soloist Eva Szekely. The program also features Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1 in E minor; Sarasate’s “Zigeunerweisen”; and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Adagio in E Major. WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday WHERE: Missouri United Methodist Church, 204 S. Ninth St. ADMISSION: $10 in advance at the church; $15 at the door. To order tickets in advance, call 443-3111. Details are available at

“There is a constant ostinato through the entire thing,” Dell said. “It always keeps you moving.”

The piece was commissioned by the Sinquefield Family Foundation, which supports a variety of charities including the annual Creating Original Music Program that Dell won in 2005.

Dell, who teaches vocal music to middle and high school students in Hermann, started composing in high school, and although teaching is his first love, he enjoys writing music when he can.

Dell is coming to Columbia for the concert. Although he has heard a recording of the group perform his piece, he said he is looking forward to hearing it played live.

“The first time I hear it, it is always interesting because it never matches up with what I hear in my head,” Dell said. “Slowly, though, I start to hear in my mind what is being played and it becomes much more organic.”

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