The Suite is a musical setting for a tragic love story from 14th-century Portugal. Dom Pedro, son of Alfonso IV and heir to the throne, scorned his politically-arranged betrothed for one of her ladies-in-waiting, Inês de Castro. They became lovers, parents, and adoring soul mates. However, the scandal at court was too much for the king, who banished her to Spain. Dom Pedro installed his Inês and their children in the convent of Santa Clara, and for ten years they maintained their extraordinary and blissful relationship. Political pressures drove the king to sanction the killing of Inês and their children, which was carried out in 1355. Swearing revenge, Dom Pedro led a bloody but unsuccessful rebellion against his father. When his father died, his first act as King Pedro was to order the cruel executions of his wife’s assassins. He then staged the coronation that his queen had never had. Inês’ body was exhumed, dressed in royal robes, and carried in procession 50 miles along a route lined with subjects bearing lighted candles. At Alcobaça, the royal crown was placed upon her head, and a magnificent coronation staged for the "dead queen."
Dr. Sochinski is currently Director of Virginia Tech's Center for Digital Music, where he was Director of Bands for 13 years. He is a prolific composer, having written for nearly every instrumental medium, and is also in demand as a band adjudicator, clinician and guest conductor. --James Huff 06:22, 23 November 2008 (UTC) (from the program notes of The Claremont Winds, submitted with permission)