A Wild Rose Above was commissioned by the Hasegawa Family in memory of Shota Hasegawa (1988-2010). Shota was an outstanding and beloved trumpet player in the Saratoga High School Music Department, Saratoga, California, participating in the symphonic wind Ensemble, marching band, and jazz band. He passed away suddenly in his sleep on January 5th, 2010. His family later learned that the cause of death was dilated cardiomyopathy.
Shota loved the song To a Wild Rose, the first movement of the suite Woodland Sketches by Edward MacDowell. This same melody accidentally and mysteriously sounded at his funeral, attended by hundreds in the Saratoga Community. With the sound of this melody in mind, the Hasegawa Family requested that the composer use To a Wild Rose for this work in memory of Shota. The composer also used another "rose song," Es ist ein Ros'entsprungen, a Protestant chorale arranged by Johannes Brahms in his 11 Chorale Preludes. All motifs in the piece are derived from these two melodies.
A Wild Rose Above was premiered in June 2014 by the Saratoga High School Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Michael Boitz, Conductor, and also performed throughout their Spain Tour in the summer of 2014.