Have you ever thought about how important wood is to classical music? You need it to build instruments, to create stages and theater seating…you even need it to write pieces of music like this one. Well, at least, the composer needed it. Hey y’all – I’m Garrett McQueen, and on today’s edition of Noteworthy I’m gonna invite you to check out this wooden work by a composer whose career is as solid as any giant oak or sycamore – a woman named Jennifer Higdon.

Jennifer Higdon hails from east Tennessee, where words like y’all are just as appropriate for the concert hall as any other. She remains a fixture in her home state of Tennessee and across the south, and has grown to be one of the most performed living composers not just down south and in the United States, but across the globe.

Today, Jennifer Higdon’s most performed composition is a very soft and soothing work called Blue Cathedral. This composition, written in 2001, shows a bit of her more angular side – a really cool bassoon feature called Dark Wood.

Whether you think of Jennifer Higdon’s music as dark and oaky, soft and silky, or anywhere in between, you’d be right! Her popularity among concert goers is a testament to not only her diverse, eclectic style, but her status as one of today’s most noteworthy composers.

Noteworthy is a production of WDAV classical public radio.

Pictured: Jennifer Higdon speaking at the 2014 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music; by CTV Santa Cruz County – Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music – Meet the Composers 2014, CC BY 3.0.