By Sarah Dukes
In honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day, I created a song. My piano solo piece, The Memory that Lives On, was composed when I was 16 years old. The local JCC in my area had an annual Holocaust Arts and Writing Competition, and the theme that year was “Children in Hiding”. This piece is very deep and emotional as I envisioned what it must have been like for children hiding during the Holocaust. The song takes you on a journey of children’s lives- beginning with happiness, serenity, and joy. It then moves to a deeper, darker place as the Holocaust begins, fear and dread creeps in, and the nightmare comes to life. No matter how you interpret this section- whether you hear footsteps or racing heartbeats, or just the physical sound of dread- it is all correct. It all happened. There were fortunate enough to live through it. Eventually they were able to slowly make their way out of hiding, and cautiously begin to rebuild their new lives with their new reality. With a lot of emotional work and pain, they eventually figure out how to live again building new families and creating new generations. Although even though their lives once again include feelings of happiness serenity and joy, the horrific memory…will always live on.
This year I created an orchestrated version of The Memory That Lives On to inspire us to be sensitive to those who are suffering, forgiving to those who are struggling, and grateful for what we have.
*The Memory that Lives On piano solo is included on my first album of original piano solos, Finding Forever, and can be purchased from iTunes or Amazon. Sheet music is available from www.sarahdukesmusic.com. The orchestrated version will be available for purchase soon.