"My mother Rita was diagnosed with cancer in January of 1990. She lost her battle in October of that year. I started working that summer on a piece of music for her funeral. It was scored for 3 French horns, piano or harp, and string quartet and was recorded by musicians of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Mom got to hear the recording once before she died and it was played at the end of the service. I titled it 'Encomium' which is Latin for high praise and dedicated it to my mother, Rita Scafide Beninate."