St. Mary's University Music Department, Winona, Minnesota

Kaplan Project:

Past Kaplan Commissions (1998-2010)

Title of composition Composer Premiere
Halleil: Praise the Lord Steven Barnett 2000
Let Peace Descend Lee Kesselman 2002
Departure Point Phillip Rothman 2004
Israeli Rhapsody Judith Zaimont 2006
Ashkenazi Fathers Marc Bernstein 2008
If You Could Only See the Frog Paul Richards 2010

Click here to see press information/photos of the 2010 commission

Paul Richards

"If You Could Only See the Frog" is based on a children's song from Bulgaria sung by the exiled Jews in the Spanish-Jewish dialect of Ladino. The original title of the song is "Si Veriash a la Rana," and its text in English translation is as follows:

If only you could see the little frog sitting on the oven, frying her fritas and sharing with her sisters!
If only you could see the little mouse in the corner, shelling walnuts and sharing with her sisters!
If only you could see the little camel sitting on the dough-board, rolling out filo thinner than hair!
This is punctuated by s curious refrain in Turkish which simply means "I love you so much."

The work combines Landino melodic figurations and traditional Bulgarian metric construction, resulting in a percussion-driven, playful and memorable composition. A video of the premiere is available at
For more information regarding the composer please see

Marc Bernstein

Ashkenazi Fathers was composed by internationally acclaimed jazz musician/composer Marc Bernstein as a work for jazz combo and concert band. A performance of this is posted at the following link, also please visit his web site:

Judith Zaimont

Israeli Rhapsody is a work for mature collegiate or professional large symphonic band, very powerful and moving. This piece has been performed by intercollegiate honor bands and is an outstanding composition available through MMB music.

Phillip Rothman

Departure Point was composed for wind ensemble with piano soloist. Rothman is a New York City based composer, consultant and music preparer, his web site is found at

Lee Kesselman

Let Peace Descend is the only collaborative work for wind ensemble and choir to come from the Kaplan Commission Project to date. Premiered shortly after the 911 attack, it was a moving performance, premiered in the beautiful Saint Mary’s of the Angels chapel.

Steve Barnett

The first Kaplan Commission was presented to Steve Barnett, Grammy Winning music producer and composer. His Halleil: Praise the Lord is a beautiful, moving work that features English Horn (although cued in alto saxophone) and a rhythmic dance-like conclusion. This work is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Frank Bencriscutto, whom Steve worked with for many years at the University of Minnesota. “Dr. Ben” was also Dr. Heukeshoven’s college band director during her undergraduate days at the U of M.