Jorge Mester, musical director at Aspen from 1970 to 1990, had a beloved sheepdog Rags, who became the unofficial mascot of the Festival. When the dog passed in 1981, Mester asked Welcher for a "Requiem for Rags," which became Rag for Rags. This brass and percussion setting begins slowly, in the traditional New Orleans funeral style, then ultimately breaks into a faster, joyful section, "Rags trots into heaven." The brass version was played as a memorial during a concert that summer. Violinist Paul Kantor requested a version for violin and piano, for inclusion on his upcoming CD featuring Welcher's violin concerto. This new version is faithful to the original, including special cues for the violin - notably the special whistle that Mester used to call his dog.