My great, great Grandparents came to this country in 1883. Their daughter, my great aunt, Sophia was a pianist. Her older brothers took to the violin like their father, who also played flute. At a young age, Sophia showed more promise and perseverance with music than her siblings. At 10 or 11 years old, she was stricken with polio and spent the rest of her life in a wheelchair.
Sophia struggled with the use of her hands, but played and wrote music for the piano for many years. She taught my Grandma to play, who had a beautiful upright piano that I liked to play as a kid in York, Nebraska. As an adult, my Grandma sent me a book of Sophia's practices and compositions for piano. One was a patriotic song with lyrics, called Homeland.
I knew when I had this song in my hands, that I needed to record it. It took over a year to get it done, but I managed to do it. I have a 1933 Story & Clark piano that I brought into my studio for a film and I played that for the song. I played cello, and my friend Connor played viola and violin. I gave the song to my Grandma for Christmas in 2015.