In the fall of 1985, I was asked by composer Grant Fletcher to take over a commission that he felt his other commitments would not allow him to complete on time. Though it was short notice, I was happy to accept the opportunity. The Metropolitan Youth Symphony, a thriving organization in Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix, was established by Wayne Roderer in 1983. As of this writing, it has grown to include an upper division full orchestra plus three training string orchestras, all less than 15 years old.
When I went to hear them for the first time back in 1985, I was not only struck by the high quality of the playing, I was moved by the tremendous enthusiasm of the players. I had forgotten what it was like to be an early teenager. So, it evolved that this short overture became a work that was not only for them, but about them as well. The apprehension involved is that of a carnival ride, where you don’t know where you are going, but you are going fast and having a lot of fun.