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When Time Will Be No More

red rose When Time Will Be No More graphic
Composer James Curnow was commissioned jointly by The All-Star Brass Band and the Thomas Worthington High School (Worthington, OH) to write a piece in memory of Peter Swanson who died in his sleep April 6, 1998. Peter, a 14-year 0ld freshman at Linworth Alternative High School (aligned with Thomas Worthington High School) was Concertmaster of the Junior-Varsity All-Star Brass Band.

Background of “When Time Will Be More”…

Based on the gospel song “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” – Concert item 7.00

On April 6, 1998, Peter J. Swanson suddenly and quietly slipped into eternity. We remember him especially for his love of music, a gift from his older brothers, Nathan and Stephen. Worthingway and Thomas Worthington Schools in Worthington, Ohio, nurtured this gift until, as a concertmaster and solo cornet in the All-Star Brass Band of Columbus, Peter reached his highest potential in performance and leadership.

What Pete liked best about music was its ability to draw people together. When he was not rehearsing his brass quintet or practicing for the next drama production, he was rounding up a gang of guys for sandlot rugby or simply getting up a game of euchre in the hallway. Woodwinds may remember Pete’s merciless teasing, and more than one teacher wished he would pay as much attention to his academics as he lavished on his trumpet. But everyone who knew Pete remembers him for his whimsical sense of humor, his joy at working together, and his faith in God.

Peter’s family felt that this commissioned work should express thanks to his Creator for loaning us this talented, wacky fellow for over fourteen years. It certainly was tough to return this priceless loan on that Good Friday. But what a vivid reminder of how this Creator entered our dimension of time specifically to conquer death, and how he knew that this conquest would cost him his own life, and how he now calls each of us to enjoy a lasting relationship with him. This music recalls Pete’s commitment to such a relationship while he lived with us, and it celebrates the closer walk he presently enjoys.

Finally, this music looks forward to when ‘the trumpet shall sound”, and when time will be no more; to when death will meet its final defeat, and every tear will be wiped away, to when the natural order as we know it will give way to the new creation.

Mark and La Verne Swanson, 1999


This work was commissioned in memory of Peter J. Swanson, 1983-1998, Trumpet, Thomas Worthington Symphonic Band, Worthington, Ohio, Solo Cornet All Star Brass Band of Columbus; whose love of music reflected his whimsical sense of humor, his pride in his country, and the majesty of his God.

The composer’s desire was to create a musical portrait of Peter’s personality that would also represent the personalities and lives of thousands of today’s youthful music-makers. His favorite gospel song, Just a Closer Walk with Thee, is manipulated (in motivic form) throughout the work to create new themes that are both energetic and reflective in character.

The work is a set of motivic variations that take the listener from the opening distant trumpet call, through many divergent styles and moods. These contrasting variations are sometimes reflective, sometimes energetic, joyful and whimsical, but always in a spirit of praise and adoration.

All of the energy culminates in a sudden powerful, yet thought provoking climax that refocuses the attention of the music, through the use of three brief musical quotations (euphonium) from the original gospel song. These quotations are presented to remind us of one of the greatest promises of all time:

When my feeble life is o’er,
Time for me will be no more;
Guide me gently, safely o’er
To thy kingdom shore, to thy shore.

The music then returns to the composer’s original theme, presented in a soft reflective meditation, which gradually evolves into a climactic fanfare and celebration of praise

About Peter Swanson, 1983-1998

Photos will be added soon.

Obituary, Worthington News

Peter J. Swanson, 14, died April 6 at his home in Worthington.

A student at Linworth alternative School, he was a member of the symphonic and marching bands of Thomas Worthington High School and played solo cornet for the Junior-Varsity all-Star Brass Band of Columbus/

He is survived by his parents, Mark and LaVerne Swanson; two brothers, Nathan and Stephen of Worthington; and grandparents, Melvin and Betty Swanson of Doylestown, PA.

Funeral arrangements were handled by Schoedinger Worthington Chapel.

Worthington New Article - April 15. 1998

Swanson remembered for music, sense of humor.

Linworth Alternative High School students returned from spring break to mourn the loss of a student.

Peter Swanson, a 14-year-pld freshman, died April 6 in his sleep at his Worthington home.

Swanson will be remembered for his music and his sense of humor, said Wayne Harvey, Linworth teacher-director.

Swanson was an accomplished musician who played cornet and trumpet, Harvey said.

He performed with the Junior Varsity All-Star Brass Band of Columbus and was a member of the Thomas Worthington High School symphonic and marching bands, Harvey said.

“He had a great sense of humor.” Harvey said. “He always had a good line. And he was learning to take a joke, too.”

Swanson also was developing an interest in the dramatic arts.

Earlier this year, he had appeared in Linworth’s production of The Man From La Mancha, Harvey said.

And, just as spring break was beginning Swanson learned he earned a role in the Thomas Worthington production of Peter Pan, Harvey said.

Swanson as a “pretty good student,” Harvey said. “He showed signs of being a better student.

“He was really an energetic young guy,”he said, adding Swanson was just figuring out what he needed to do to get where he wanted.

When Swanson left class before spring break, he seemed to be fine, Harvey said.

But that Sunday night he went to bed after playing with the All-Star Brass Band and hearing about his upcoming role in Peter Pan and didn’t wake up the next morning, Harvey said.

When school officials heard about Swanson’s death, Harvey and other staff members began calling the school’s 180 or so students to personally let them know what had happened.

Harvey was among those who attended Thursday’s calling hours and Friday morning’s funeral in the Clintonville Baptist Church.

Still, because of spring break many students didn’t know of Swanson’s death until Sunday, Harvey said.

Classes began Monday with a gathering where students and staff members could talk about Swanson.

“It was a tribute to Pete,” Harvey said.

Guidance counselors also were in the building on Monday morning, He said.

“Is it helping? I don’t know,” Harvey said. “The grieving process is a long one.”

And for the school, it’s difficult because some who heard the news earlier are past the initial stage of grief while others are just starting their grieving, he said.

“We have students and staff in different places in the grieving process, ” Harvey said.

“But the staff is being very open and available to students who need it,” he added.

Swanson is survived by his parents, Mark and LaVerne Swanson; two brothers, Nathan and Stephen of Worthington; and grandparents, Melvin and Betty Swanson of Doylestown, PA.

By Susan Brohman, Worthington News Report – Published April 15, 1998, Worthington News

Worthington New Article - April 22, 1998

Fellow musicians pay tribute to Peter Swanson

Wearing green ribbons, the Junior Varsity All-Star Brass Band sat down as they began their season’s final performance.

But the seat reserved for the concert master remained empty save for a cornet standing in an open instrument case.

While the brass band playing to a standing ovation at the North American Brass Band Association competition in Lexington, KY, Friday afternoon, the cornet remained silent – in tribute to its owner, Peter Swanson.

It is one of the many being given to Peter, a 14-year-old freshman at Linworth alternative High School, who died in his sleep April 6 in his Worthington home.

He had been treated for a seizure disorder, said his parents, Mark and LaVerne Swanson. Before his death, he was doing fine and was taken off his medication at the suggestion of his doctors.

But his life will be remembered through memorial funds.

The Thomas Worthington High School Band Boosters

Linworth alternative School Class Scholarship

Al-Star Brass Band

Mid-Atlantic Scholarship of the Awana Bible Club

Computer James Curnow has agreed to write a piece in Peter’s memory – a composition brass band director Eric Aho hopes to be able to play next season.

Although their time together was too short, Peter packed a lot into his 14 years, Mrs. Swanson said.

“There are 44-year-olds who have not what he did,” she said.

Born Nov. 17, 1983, Peter – the youngest of three boys – attended Worthington Estates Elementary School and Worthingway Middle School.

By all accounts, Peter was a gregarious boy with a quick wit and a strong love for God, his family, music and theater.

His older brothers, Nathan, a senior at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Stephen, at freshman at the same school, were heroes to Peter, his parents said.

From both of them, he learned to love music, Mrs. Swanson said.

And, when Stephen joined the All-Star Brass Band playing the tuba and euphonium, it was automatic Peter would audition for the same group.

Stephen instilled Peter with his love for the theater, Earlier this year, Peter appeared in Linworth’s production of The Man From La Mancha.

And yet he didn’t quite follow in their footsteps, Nathan said.

“Peter relished his individuality.” said Nathan, remember the black jeans, combat boots and military jacket Peter wore in middle school.

Later, he took to wearing a green felt fedora.

“It pretty much perplexed the heck out of friends and neighbors, but Peter enjoyed the confusion he caused and probably secretly enjoyed even the disparaging remarks that his hat brought him.” Nathan said.

“But he was never without friends.” Mr. Swanson said. “If he couldn’t fit into a group, he would make a group.”

“He would do anything to be with people,” he said, remembering the rugby games Peter organized at Linworth.

An accomplished musician who played cornet, trumpet and flugelhorn, Peter performed with the Junior Varsity all-Star Brass Band and was a member of the Thomas Worthington symphonic and marching bands.

He organized friends Andy Masters, Sarah House, Matt Citaldi and Josh Stegman into the Thomas Worthington brass quintet. Their act earned a superior rating at the Ohio Music Educations Association competition Feb. 21.

While Worthingway and Thomas Worthington bands nurtured his love of music, it was the brass band where Peter’s leadership skilled shined the brightest.

As concert master, “He was the spiritual leader of the group,” Aho said.

“Peter led not with his mouth, but by example,” he said, adding he won respect from many brass band musicians.

Peter also had “a personal relationship with God,” the Swansons said, adding “it was an important part of his life.”

Although the family attended the Clintonville Baptist Church, he also found spiritual fellowship with the Evidence Group at Grace Brethren Church, Mr. Swanson said.

Peter’s funeral was a celebration his life featuring the music of a 35-piece brass band, Mr. Swanson said.

“It didn’t sound like a funeral” he said.

But it was Peter’s last day – one filled with joy and possibility – that his parents say they will never forget.

A beautiful spring day, he played what would be his last performance with the brass band.

“Pete never played so well,” according to JV director Ken McCoy. “He was right on. He hit every note.”

That afternoon, he learned he got a part in the Thomas Worthington’s production of Peter Pan and went out to shoot cans his BB gun.

Mr. Swanson said he will never forget the long last huge the two of them shared.

“It was perfect.” his parents said.

By Susan Brohman, Worthington News Report – Published April 22, 1998, Worthington News

James Curnow, Composer of “When Time Will Be No More“…

James Curnow, Composer of commissioned work:  When Time Will Be No More
A long time friend of the All-Star Brass Bands, James Curnow is one of the most respected and internationally celebrated active American composers. He received some of his earliest training in the Salvation Army Instrumental Music program, a debt he later repaid as editor of their music publications. He did his undergraduate work at Wayne State University and earned his Masters of Music from Michigan State University, studying euphonium with Leonard Falcone and conducting with Harry Begian. His composition teachers were F. Maxwell Wood, James Gibb, Jere Hutchinson, and Irwin Fischer.

He has over 400 works in his catalog, mostly tonal, many of which take their inspiration from literature. He is widely known for his symphonic band and brass band works, several of which have won major awards: Symphonic Triptych, Collage for Band (ASBDA/Volkwein, 1977, 1979), Mutanza, Symphonic Variants for Euphonium and Band (ABA/Ostwald, 1980, 1984), and Lochinvar (Coup de Vents, France, 1994). His prolific output for young musicians reflects his many years teaching at the public school and college levels. Jim continues to be active as a conductor, clinician, and music educator. He also founded and presides over Curnow Music Press, Inc.

Note:    Mr. Curnow has been a favorite in Columbus as Guest Conductor of the Brass Band of Columbus (BBC) on several occasions. In 2009, Mr. Curnow was commissioned by the BBC to write a major competition level work for brass band to celebrate their Silver Anniversary. The piece was conducted by Mr. Curnow at its premiere at the BBC Silver Gala. Since that time, Mr. Curnow returned to conduct the BBC at the 2010 OBAF, and he will become the BBC Principal Guest Conductor.

The All-Stars hope that his more frequent presence in Columbus will afford our members an opportunity to become acquainted with this great conductor, composer and humanitarian.

Performances of “When Time Will Be No More” achieve world-wide acclaim.  It is a wonderful legacy to know this beautiful piece of music celebrating the life of a young man who touched so many during his life now continues to touch so many after his passing.

In 2008, the ASBP performed “When Time Will Be No More” at the OMEA Conference. Composer James Curnow was to guest conduct the performance, but an illness prevented him from traveling at the last minute.

The Concert Band version of the work has become a major staple in high school band literature, and was a selection for Ohio OMEA Large Band Competition.

The work has become quite beloved by many who only know it as a beautiful piece of music. But for Dr. Eric Aho, his family and the All-Stars Staff and Members, the story behind the work will make it a lesson about life and the pursuit of excellence.

Additional material expected soon.


James Curnow, Composer of commissioned work: When Time Will Be No More