The Highwayman, written by Sr. Martina Hughes, OSB, with words by the English poet, Alfred Noyes, was chosen by the Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs as the best work submitted by a Minnesota composer in 1940. It was premiered by the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in May 1941 in a performance remarkable enough to be featured in Time magazine a few weeks later.
The poem narrates the story of the highwayman who falls in love with the innkeeper's daughter on a dark, windy night. Sr. Martina served as President of The College of St. Scholastica from 1954 - 58. She has been nationally recognized not only for her musical compositions, but also for her inspirational teaching, her sparkling vivacity and her visionary leadership.
On Oct. 20, 2012 Shelley Gruskin directed a professional orchestra, joined by the Twin Ports Choral Project and St. Scholastica Concert Choir, in re-creating The Highwayman. The program also included a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7, considered "one of the most perfect symphonies ever written", and selections from Gilbert and Sullivan's ever-popular Pirates of Penzance.
On January 31, MPR Classical featured The Highwayman in a regional spotlight. The broadcast can be streamed below.
The Highwayman, Sr. Martina Hughes
(You can download this MP3 by right clicking the link and selecting "save link as" or "save target as.")
This activity was funded in part by the Arrowhead Regional Arts Council with money from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008, and an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature.
This concert was funded in part by the John T. & Elizabeth C. Adams Arts Fund of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation.