I wrote "Gelukkig" for the UTPB String Ensemble, directed by my father, Thomas Hohstadt. I had a fairly short window of time to write the piece this past summer, and did most of the work flying home from a trip to visit family. I wanted the piece to be fun, so I integrated a jazz-swing style, using classical construction techniques of thematic development.
The 'slow' section of the piece is more melancholy, by way of contrast, and the work ends in a spirit of triumph.
Since jazz influences stem from Africa, and I wanted the work to be mostly 'happy', I looked for the word 'happy' in Africaans, hence "Gelukkig".
I enjoyed attending and coaching the UTPB ensemble in their process of learning it. I am proud of the work they gave to put it together. For many of them, this was their first encounter with a modern classical style, and they seemed enamored with the idea that they were playing something written by someone they had gotten to know. As a result, in the concert, I felt their sincerity and desire to 'give it their best'.
Hope you enjoy!