Alexander P. is a lively 95-year-old gentleman who loves music in every way. He was taught to play the trumpet and several other instruments by his father as a young boy and has been composing his own music ever since. There is one piece that Alexander is particularly proud of and his Wish of a Lifetime was to hear it performed by a full chorus.
Alexander grew up having never known his father. At the age of 12, he was allowed to travel to Iowa where he met his father, aunt, and grandfather for the first time. He soon discovered that all three were musicians and over the next year he learned to read and write music as well as play trombone in F, E♭ clarinet, and military trumpet in G. After several months in Iowa, Alexander was gravely injured in a shotgun accident. Though he was not expected to live, he pulled through a long recovery aided by a book of poetry. As Alexander read Thomas Gray’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” his head filled with music. He kept working on this choral piece and eventually finished it several years later. He has continued to write music ever since but it was this piece that he most wanted to hear performed.
Alexander, a veteran of WWII, was a proud member of the First Infantry Division, with whom he served as a sharpshooter stationed in the Pacific during the tense times near the end of the war. His division received orders to attack Guam and many of the men never even made it to the ground. Alexander was shot in the head in that battle, though fortunately his injuries were reduced to a graze thanks to his helmet. After spending 8 months recovering in an army hospital in Oahu, Alexander traveled back to the continental US where he continued to give back to his community on a more local level. Back in Denver, Alexander stayed involved and committed to the church for many years, largely through providing music for many churches and services, but even going as far as to help hand dig the foundation of a new church.
Alexander has tried for nearly 80 years to have his music performed by local music groups in Denver, but his letters have always been met by rejection. Wish of a Lifetime was thrilled to grant his wish with the generous help of singers from Kantorei, a Denver based choir, and Joseph Galema, a local organist. Alexander’s “Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard” had its world premiere Sunday, April 27, 2014 at South Broadway Christian Church in Denver. Alexander was thrilled to hear his music brought to life by such a talented choir and beautiful organ and to see so many people come out to hear his music. After the concert he said he couldn’t believe it, “even Beethoven and Mozart never got this kind of reception!”