Moving the Mountain


Moving the Mountain was originally inspired by the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!. The book, in Seussian fashion, talks about the journey of life — highs and lows, grand achievements, and “waiting places.” Before the final stanza in the story, Seuss exclaims “KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”. This phrase carried with me the summer of 2008 while climbing the great Mount Fuji in Japan.

Fuji was a seemingly endless cycle of the following: climbing up the ashy trail until you tired and could no longer walk, taking a short break and enjoying the scenery down the mountain, looking up with a sense of dread at how much more of the mountain was left to climb; repeat. After several hours we finally reached the top of the mountain. It was dawn, and the sun was rising over the clouds below — quite possibly one of the most beautiful sights on earth. For that moment, the climb was worth all the effort.

This experience was a simple metaphor for life.

This piece was written for the Whitney M. Young Magnet High School Wind Band (Chicago, IL), and is poignantly dedicated to their director, Anthony Lanzino, who at that time had mountains of his own that he’s had to move: to Mr. Lanzino I forever say, “Today is Your Day!”. Moving the Mountain was premiered in the Spring of 2009