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David Woodard
1969 -
United States of America
Picture Picture
D. Woodard
David Woodard (1969), an American composer. David Woodard was born in 1965 or 1964, although for some unknown reason he claims he was born in 1969. (I had word from a good source that his medical records said, he was 40 in 2005) Much about his early life and education is unknown. He may have grown up in Santa Barbara, California.
Ave Atque Vale, a Prequiem
Period:21st century
Composed in:2001
Musical form:free
In memory of:/ dedicated toTimothy McVeigh
This piece is scored for two trumpets, two trombones, tuba, cymbals, strings, winds and baritone soloist.
On April 19, 2001, Timothy McVeigh invited Woodard to conduct a prequiem (non-liturgical accompaniment by which to expire) at his death. Vehemently opposed by an unremitting Board of Prisons Regional Director, Warden and Public Affairs Officer, rescued and sponsored by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and rendered in accordance with McVeigh's own prayerful contingencies, Woodard conducted "Ave Atque Vale" with a brass quintet at a neighboring parish on the eve of the execution. His immediate listenership included not only McVeigh's legal team but the balance of the following morning's witnesses. Within two weeks, Most Rev. Daniel M. Buechlein, OSB, Archbishop of Indianapolis, would travel to the Vatican City and personally deliver Woodard's score to Pope John Paul II in quest of a blessing—an issue remaining under Holy See review. Shortly thereafter, Los Angeles' Cardinal Mahony echoed Buechlein's request to the Holy Father. Woodard's Terre Haute musician recruiter at Indiana University School of Music, in nearby Bloomington, was and remains an avid DM user.
A specially-created trumpet fanfare will send Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh to his death after a composer saw him as an "amazing, albeit misguided talent". Los Angeles composer David Woodard created the 12-and-a-half minute piece, which will be played on a radio station that McVeigh listens to on the morning of his scheduled execution. The title of the piece, Ave Atque Vale, can be translated as Onward Valiant Soldier or Hail and Farewell. "I feel he deserves some sort of tribute," said David Woodard.
Woodard drew parallels between McVeigh and Jesus Christ, saying they share a "messianic quality", but described McVeigh's crime as a "horrible deed". McVeigh has claimed sole responsibility for the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building that killed 168 people and injured hundreds of others. "I think it [the music] will resonate with him. I think it will lift his spirits... My intention is to provide comfort to Tim McVeigh," Woodard said.
He says McVeigh is "33 and nearly universally despised at the time of his execution" - like Jesus Christ. While disagreeing with McVeigh's "horrible crime", Woodard says he finds himself "awed by who he is and his circumstances".
Woodard was refused permission to play the piece inside the jail at Terre Haute, Indiana, at the same time as McVeigh is put to death on 16 May. Instead, he will conduct the "prequiem" during a vigil at a nearby Catholic Church the previous day. And, after communicating with McVeigh by letter, it will also be aired on an Indiana university student radio station. McVeigh will have access to a radio and television until one hour before his scheduled 0700 execution.
The date of the execution - by lethal injection - could be postponed after the FBI handed over thousands of documents which should have previously been made available to McVeigh's defence lawyers. The lawyers could apply for a stay of execution or appeal against the conviction - although McVeigh has previously ordered his lawyers not to appeal.
The 1995 bombing killed 168 people.
"I think it is worth my efforts to do something on his behalf because he is such an unusual person," Woodard said.
"The way in which he has managed himself [after the bombing] is unfathomably mindful and composed and I feel he deserves some sort of tribute."
He said he does not want to aggravate the citizens of Oklahoma City, who must be feeling "incredibly disconnected and psychically bruised".
"I feel horrible for them," he said. "But this piece is not related to that [crime]. It is related to this person who did that horrible deed and his circumstances as they are now."
The music was first composed for Jack Kevorkian, the Michigan doctor who assisted in numerous suicides. It was first titled Farewell to a Saint.
Woodard has written and performed several compositions that are intended to be performed for a person while that person is dying.
"Everyone I have mentioned it to has tried to dissuade me, and told me it will be misinterpreted and will only bring me trouble," he said.
T. McVeigh