Organ piece by WFU composer performed at funeral for former President Ronald Reagan

“The Peace May Be Exchanged,” an organ composition from Rubrics by Dan Locklair, Wake Forest professor of music and composer-in-residence, was performed during the June 11 funeral for former President Ronald Reagan at National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Locklair composed Rubrics, a five movement suite for organ, in 1988. He said the work is based on the Episcopal prayer book, which has five rubrics or rules for conduct during the liturgical service. Each movement takes its title from the rubrics in the prayer book, including the piece performed at Reagan’s funeral, which instructs the congregation to exchange a sign of peace with one another.

Locklair said the piece performed at Reagan’s funeral is very serene. The idea for the composition came to Locklair during a church service at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, he said.

“It is truly an honor to have this piece performed during such an important event,” Locklair said. “As an artist, I firmly hope always that my music moves people. It is extremely rewarding to be able to help people with or through a time of great mourning.”

Several compositions from Rubrics have been performed around the world and “The Peace May Be Exchanged” has been recorded by a variety of artists. Rubrics is available on the CD “Contemporary Organ Music,” released by the Gasparo label, GSCD-277. A complete list of the music performed during Reagan’s funeral is avaliable in PDF format here.

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