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“Hail the Coming Day,” a festive piece for orchestra composed by Winston-Salem’s own Dan Locklair and commissioned by the city and the Winston-Salem Centennial Commission, will have its world premiere as part of the city’s four-day centennial celebration.

The piece will be performed as part of the Winston-Salem Symphony’s concert at 3 p.m. Sunday, May 12. It will be repeated during the symphony’s performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 14.

Locklair is composer-in-residence and professor of music at Wake Forest University.
In his program notes for “Hail the Coming Day,” Locklair says, “The composition takes its title from an 1876 speech given by one of early Winston’s most influential leaders, Robert Gray. He said: ‘I speak of Winston and Salem as one place…. Would that I could speak of them under one name. They are one in identity of interest and future…. I hail the coming day which shall rise upon the united towns.’ ”

The piece combines lyrical and energetic passages to invoke the early Moravian spirit and the exuberance of boom-town Winston. Once the towns are conjoined by a hyphen, Locklair notes, “careful listeners may even imagine hearing ‘aural hyphens’ (i.e. rests) that celebrate this small grammatical, yet unifying, device!”

For more information about centennial events and how to order commemorative centennial items, go to

Winston-Salem 100 years!


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