Frank Felice describes his new orchestral composition, “Time and Motion,” as the whirling, swirling, and settling of colorful sediment in a glass of water.

“It’s as if someone swirls the glass—it becomes more opaque, more zesty in its harmony, and then the piece settles down,” he said. “But it never returns to being completely transparent and clear.”

Frank Felice
Frank Felice


Felice, Associate Professor of the Butler University School of Music, will premiere his composition Sunday at 3:00 p.m. with the Butler Symphony Orchestra at the Howard L. Schrott Center for the Arts. Tickets are available at the Clowes Memorial Hall box office this week and at the Schrott Center two hours before the performance.

BSO Conductor Richard Clark approached Felice about composing a piece for the orchestra last year. Felice has composed a variety of works for the School of Music, with his last Butler Symphony Orchestra composition in 2002. (Check out his website here.)

Clark said it is a gift to have been given a brand new, challenging piece for the orchestra to tackle.

“He does not write easy,” Clark said. “There is something for everybody to really sink their teeth into. Players have to extend their techniques and ability to play this piece.”

Felice’s composition coexists well with the multiethnic and stylistic components of the Corelli, Faure, and Franck pieces to be played at the performance. Clark said the audience can expect to hear a diverse selection of music in style and time period.

“There will be awesome energy,” he said, “passion, sorrow, tragedy, wild moments and music spanning about 350 years.”

Felice will not sit in the audience on Sunday and silently critique the performance of his work, as he has with past compositions he has written. He will perform his piece as a member of the student orchestra, another cog in the wheel.

Clark said it is a wonderful opportunity for students to play a brand new piece alongside the composer who envisioned and created it. After several weeks of preparation, he said he looks forward to bringing this piece to life.

“It’s always exciting to give birth to a new work,” Clark said. “Something that has never been heard before by anyone. We’ll make it happen right here on stage.”