And though this piece is a hymn, it is only a hymn in the sense that it is a song of praise and celebration.
Hymn to the Hills of Westwood was written for the UCLA Powell Library carillon bells, and takes inspiration from UCLA’s alma mater, Hail to the Hills of Westwood. In Hymn to the Hills of Westwood, the tune from UCLA’s school song goes on a transformative journey. This journey begins with a fundamental problem: the song is in the wrong key. The problem is righted slowly, by degrees, and not without struggle. At times the very identity of the song appears lost, obscured, compromised.
This is not a tribute to the honorable history of this university. Nor is it a song of praise for UCLA’s present accolades. It is a celebration of the trials, tribulations, and failures we steadfastly endure on the eternal path toward equity and virtue.