The Mira Mesa (CA) High School String Orchestra recently premiered a new arrangement of my Goodnight, Goodnight, scored for string orchestra.
The ensemble, directed by Matthew Mulvaney performed the piece on two concerts in December!
This past week, I had the privilege of visiting the University of Central Florida and working with the UCF Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Chung Park. The orchestra premiered two new pieces of mine - Vermont State Fair and Winter Song - on two concerts.
On Friday, February 20th, the orchestra presented an open rehearsal for an audience of several hundred people at St. Luke’s Church in Oviedo. The first concert was held at St. Luke’s Church on Saturday, February 21st, and on February 22nd, the orchestra traveled to Leesburg, FL to present the program at Hawthorne at Leesburg. Between all these events, about 2,000 people heard this brand new music!
In addition to working with the orchestra, I had a great time meeting composition students at UCF and presenting a short talk featuring career tips for composers.
Here are a few pictures from the events:
Thanks so much to Chung Park and the UCF composition faculty for having me, and George Weremchuk and the students of the Symphony Orchestra for performing my music!
Happy New Year's Eve! As 2015 comes to a close, I'm spending a little time looking back on the past 12 months and remembering everything that happened this year. I don't often share behind-the-scenes posts, but today, I thought it might be fun to share a few of my favorite things from 2015.
2015 was a big year for me, personally and professionally. My wife and I bought our first home in Rochester, NY this summer (a 1920 Colonial) and we're slowly learning how to be homeowners (and how to fix things!).
On a professional note, it was an honor to have my music performed at a number of all-state conferences and honor band festivals in New York, South Carolina, Kansas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Hawaii, and Kentucky. In addition, I was thrilled to have my music performed at the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) conference in July and by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-National Honor Band at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in October.
I attended the Chamber Music America (CMA) conference in NYC in January and helped organize the pre-conference day, "How to Succeed in a Changing Musical World," hosted by Eastman's Paul R. Judy Center for Applied Research. We had a great time at the conference and enjoyed exploring Times Square for a few days!
I had the pleasure of working with several great high school and college bands this year (and a church choir, or two!), with residencies, guest rehearsals, and Skype sessions at Nazareth College, Augustana University, Liverpool High School, Trinity Emmanuel Lutheran Church, Arkansas Tech Summer Band Festival, and Canandaigua Academy, among others.
As a composer, the best part of my job is when people play (or sing) my music. This year, I counted over 65 performances in 18 states (and I know I'm missing some! Side note: I'd love to include your performance on my events calendar! Just fill out this form).
As most of you know, I self-publish the majority of my work, but over the past few years, I've started working with a few publishers for some of my choral and chamber music. This year, I had five pieces accepted for publication with Colla Voce, Augsburg Fortress, and Keyboard Percussion Publications:
It was a busy writing year for me, with two new pieces for band (Vermont State Fair and River Town Jubilee), two pieces for orchestra (Winter Song and Vermont State Fair), a new chamber version of "A Country Boy in Winter" (from Alcott Songs), and my second song cycle (New England Folk Songs).
P.S. Thinking about a commission for the 2016-2017 year? Let's talk!
As always, thanks for your continued encouragement and support of my music. Cheers to 2016!
Yes, it is Spring, and yes I am working on a piece called “Winter Song.” But, I live in Rochester, NY, so it is basically Winter all year long here – cut me some slack. This new piece is for my good friend Chung Park, Director of Orchestral Studies at Appalachian State University. It is written for flute and string orchestra that uses material from a piece I wrote a few years ago for flute and marimba. I liked much of the material I originally wrote, but recently, I felt like strings would be a better fit, and decided to take the opportunity to revise and improve the ideas.
An important harmonic element in the piece is a sonority that I really enjoy – major 7th chords in various voicings. The main chord structure that helps inform the harmonic progression of the work is a series of two fifths, stacked on top of each other, separated in the middle by a half step (i.e. C, G and Ab, Eb). I use this sonority throughout and move the chord by fifths, sequentially, through all twelve keys.
Here is a rough MIDI export of the first 3 ½ minutes:
Happy New Year! 2013 was a great year and 2014 looks like it is going to be excellent as well! I am excited about a bunch of interesting projects that are in the works, as well as upcoming performances which include the following: January 3-24, 2014 Bethel College Concert Choir - European Tour Directed by Dr. William Eash performing Filled With His Voice
January 8-10, 2014 University of Portland Wind Symphony - Puget Sound Tour Directed by Dr. Patrick Murphy performing Goodnight, Goodnight
January 25, 2014 Western Kentucky Honors Band Directed by Dr. Dan Belongia performing This World Alive
February 1, 2014 Houghton College Symphonic Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Justin Davis performing Goodnight, Goodnight
February 1, 2014 Virginia Senior High All-District Concert Band Directed by Duane Hill performing Goodnight, Goodnight
February 14, 2014 Houghton College Symphonic Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Justin Davis performing Goodnight, Goodnight
February 18, 2014 Bloomington High School Wind Symphony Directed by Max Chernick performing Magnolia Star
February 22, 2014 Bloomington High School Wind Symphony Directed by Max Chernick performing Magnolia Star
February 26, 2014 Eastman Wind Orchestra Directed by Dr. Mark Scatterday performing This World Alive
February 27, 2014 Texas Tech Concert Band Directed by Duane Hill performing Goodnight, Goodnight
February 28, 2014 Eureka High School Wind Ensemble Directed by Todd Stalter performing Goodnight, Goodnight
March 7, 2014 McNeese State University Wind Symphony Conducted by Dr. Daniel Belongia performing This World Alive
March 8, 2014 McNeese State University Honor Band Conducted by Dr. Daniel Belongia performing Goodnight, Goodnight
March 21, 2014 Bethel College Concert Choir - ACDA Southwestern Division Convention Directed by Dr. William Eash performing Filled With His Voice
March 22, 2014 Monroe, NY All-County Honor Band Directed by Dr. Jared Chase performing Magnolia Star
March 27, 2014 Macon County High School Band Directed by Mr. Joey Wilburn performing Goodnight, Goodnight
March 28, 2014 University of British Columbia Concert Winds Directed by Dr. Christopher Unger performing This World Alive
April 12, 2014 Tennessee All-State Band Directed by Dr. John Lynch premiering Journeys
April 24, 2014 UCONN Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Jeffrey Renshaw performing This World Alive
May 10, 2014 Seton Hill University Symphonic Winds Directed by Dr. Reed Chamberlin performing This World Alive
May 10, 2014 College of St. Rose Symphony Orchestra Directed by Dr. David Bebe performing The Star Spangled Banner
May 13, 2014 University of Delaware Wind Ensemble Directed by Dr. Chad Nicholson performing Flash Black
My arrangement of the Star Spangled Banner, commissioned by the Idaho State Civic Symphony and conductor Chung Park a couple of years ago, will receive two performances this coming weekend: September 14, 2013 Lake Norman Orchestra Mooresville, NC Additional info here
September 14, 2013 Murray State University Symphony Orchestra Murray, KY Additional info here
Thanks to these ensembles for including my arrangement on their concert, and thanks to Chung Park and the Idaho State Civic Symphony for helping to create it!