Clarice Assad


(2022) A Retirada (String Orchestra)

For String Orchestra

Duration: 3:12 | Commissioned by the University of Maryland for the K-12 New Music Project

Based on a traditional melody from Brazilian Folklore 1800-1900

A Retirada “The Retreat” is a traditional melody sailors sing during the traditional August festivities in Montes Claros, Minas Gerais in Brazil. This public domain melody dates back to the beginning of the 1900s or even the 1800s to conclude the celebrations. The song likely arrived in Minas Gerais (a state that does not have limits on the sea) from the northeast region of Brazil via the San Francisco river.

DC Youth Orchestra: Watch Kenneth Whitley conducts the World Premiere of A Retirada by Clarice Assad. This performance was made possible through the K-12 New Music Project.


About the K-12 Music Project

The K-12 New Music Project was initiated by the National Orchestral Institute+Festival and builds on Hawaii Youth Symphony’s existing partnership with them. The project seeks to diversify the pool of composers who write for young players by commissioning works by historically excluded composers to write music for elementary, middle, high school, and youth orchestras. As part of this project, these composers will work directly with instrumental teachers and students at HYSthe DC Youth Orchestra Program (DCYOP), and secondary schools in Prince George’s County Public Schools (Maryland) (PGCPS). Ultimately, schools across the nation will have access to these new works through our publishing partner, American Composers Alliance (ACA).

The project was awarded a $30,000 grant from The League of American Orchestra’s Futures Fund to help further the efforts. This grant supports orchestral organizations that implement innovative ways in which to grow audiences and increase their relevance.

In this new phase, the K12 New Music Project and its partners will commission eight historically excluded composers- two each for elementary, middle school, high school and youth orchestra.

After the two rounds of premieres, NOI+F will make the first round of commissions available at no cost to launch partners and purchase schools and youth orchestras across the country. The new commissions will be integrated into HYS, DCYOP, and PGCPS programming throughout the 2021-22 and 2022-2023 academic years. The commissioned repertoire will also be accompanied by visits from the composers so that the students can interact and ask questions, a unique experience they may have never had.

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