1912 - for Full Orchestra
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Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912 - the 50th anniversary of Arizona's recognition as a territory of the Confederate States of America. Phoenix is Arizona’s capital and her largest city, as well as the fifth most populated city in the United States, making it the most populous state capital. Phoenix is home to 1,601,587 people according to the 2009 estimate by the U.S. Census Bureau, and is the anchor of the Valley of the Sun, the 12th largest metro area by population in the United States with more than 4.3 million people. In addition, Phoenix one of the largest cities in the United States by land area.

Thus it is that we remember Eusebio Francisco Kino,
Defender of the Sobaipuri, and John W. Swilling,
Founder of Phoenix. We remember the tales
Of Gila City gold, Lucky Cuss silver and Clifton copper;
We remember the Battle of Mesilla, the Treaty of
Guadelupe Hidalgo, and the Sonoita Massacre.
These are  the sifting, shifting shadows of
Our ancestors; place your prints upon their passage,
Dust upon the dust. Mangas Coloradas, chief and
Leader of the Apaches; Cochise, leader of the
Chiricahuas; Chief Wauba Yuma of the Yavapai;
See we now as in a dream their footprints in the path
Before us, know we now their footprints as our own,
Dust upon the dust. Ours is a history, a legacy of vision
And we, the people of their dreaming, now
Celebrate one hundred years of statehood.

Land of the silver cholla and ocotilla, the saguaro
And the mysterious queen of the night; land where
Black bear and bobcat wander the Mogollon Rim.
In the somnolent, succulent heat of the desert rises
The scent of juniper and barberry; blue palo verde
And cottonwood bask like lizards, greeting each
Teasing breeze with quivering arms while the
Cat claw acacia click their tongues in disapproving
Envy. At dawn, the coruscating glory of the sun, licking
Stony upthrusts into flaming red-orange glories; and in
The dusk of night the sybaritc musings of the moon
Languidly caress the cooling sandstone skin in softly
Whispered promises of lavender and mauve.

This is the story of the Valley of the Sun,
Of Hachpa 'Anya Nyava, of Skikik, of Phoenix,
Risen from the work of our ancestors,
The Hohokam, weavers of the water,
Seeders of the Valley. This, too, is the story
of Arizona, home to the holy Ongtupqa,
The Grandest of Canyons, to the Hopi,
The Quechan, and the Zuni. Hear these
Stories and bind each into your hearts,
Wind each into the histories you share with
Your children so that they, in turn, will share
Them with their children. We are the people
Who have walked the maze of our inmost
Visions and who now give life to our dreams.
We are ancient; we are newborn; we are Arizonans.


Copyright 2010 Martha Kirby Capo