About the Piece

“A Solemn Prayer” was commissioned by the Minnesota Consortium of Black American Composers.

“In reflecting on the events of George Floyd while also processing the declining health of my grandmother, I found myself in two situations that called for unity. Two grieving bodies of people seeking some form of peace, resolution, or closure. A Solemn Prayer is a call to unite as one as we endure the trials of life and grieve.” [Note by the composer]

The work is for flex instrumentation.

View the score HERE.

About the Composer

C.L. Thomas

Maryland-native C. L. Thomas is an emerging band composer and conductor. Heavily inspired by personal experiences, his music brings life to memories and emotion to his audience through sound. His philosophy of music depends on breaking the fourth wall and immersing the audience and musicians in vivid soundscapes depicting moments like the first budding flower of Spring, the emotional trauma of cognitive dissonance, haunting nightmares, and more.

As a euphoniumist and trombonist, Thomas enjoys performing and making music in diverse settings. From participating in the music ministry with Crossroads Apostolic Church, where he found his passion, Thomas also delved into performing with community ensembles such as the Greater Huntington Symphonic Band and the Southern Maryland Concert Band. Thomas also had the pleasure of performing academically with the George Mason University Wind Symphony and professionally with the Chamber Orchestra of Southern Maryland in Concert as well as various workshops with the Capital Wind Symphony.

A personal passion of C. L. Thomas is creating a more fulfilling and enriching experience in music programs by lending the insight of a composer to band literature and sharing his music as a conductor. Working with ensembles as a marching brass instructor, guest clinician, and guest speaker, Thomas never fails to challenge students to grow and mature as humans through development in musicianship. With his most recent opportunity of writing a piece for the Minnesota Consortium for Black American Composers, Thomas is excited to share this experience with various high school and undergraduate ensembles across the state of Minnesota.

During his undergraduate studies at Marshall University (under Dr. Mark Zanter) and graduate studies at George Mason University (under prof. Mark Camphouse), Thomas set a high standard. Receiving commissions by faculty members of both universities, conducting various large ensembles across the Huntington, WV and Fairfax, VA areas, and performances at Arizona State University and the West Virginia public radio speak for the quality of his work and his character. [from the composer’s website: clthomasmusic.com]

Performance Materials

Performance materials are available HERE.


A reference recording is available HERE.