commission

"Into the Silent Land" - Music Reflecting on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy - Behind-the-Scenes

"Into the Silent Land" - Music Reflecting on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Tragedy - Behind-the-Scenes

I grew up in Sandy Hook, CT and attended Sandy Hook Elementary School.

I believe that music is one way we can remember the victims of the tragedy, their families, and victims of similar tragedies. This was the hardest piece I have written, but I hope that the music allows listeners to pause and remember these victims, and come together to prevent this kind of violence in the future.

Two Upcoming Premieres

Two Upcoming Premieres

I am very excited about two new pieces that will be premiered in February and March, 2018.

The first is "Ultra," a three-movement, grade 4 work that will be premiered by the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band, conducted by Rob Carochan on February 15th. The piece was commissioned by the Arkansas Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association (CBDNA). You can see a little preview of me playing music from the second movement here.

Sneak Peek of "Ultra" for Wind Band

Sneak Peek of "Ultra" for Wind Band

In this short video, I play a little sample of the second movement, "Tree House," from one of my newest works, "Ultra." The piece was commissioned by the Arkansas Chapter of the College Band Directors National Association, and will be premiered by the Arkansas Intercollegiate Band in February 2018.

Residency at University of Central Florida: Recap and Pictures

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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!

Sneak Peek: "Winter Song" for Flute and String Orchestra

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:

[audio http://www.stevedanyew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Winter_Song_midi.mp3]

Chorale Variations Coming Soon from Keyboard Percussion Publications

Some of you might remember hearing me talk about a new marimba duo commission and CD release last summer. Escape Ten, the fantastic percussion duo, asked me to write a piece for them in 2013 and I created the five-movement piece, “Chorale Variations.” Escape Ten has a new publication series with Keyboard Percussion Publications (aptly named the Escape Ten Publication Series) and they will be releasing my piece and several other works commissioned by the duo very soon!

I proofed the final draft of the piece just last week.  To tide you over until the piece is available for purchase, here is a video of Escape Ten performing the first movement of "Chorale Variations."

"Chorale Variations" Released on Escape Ten Album "Colours of a Groove"

The percussion duo Escape Ten recently released its debut album "Colours of a Groove" which features a work of mine that they commissioned in 2013 - Chorale Variations.  You can listen to the album on CD Baby and iTunes.  Enjoy! About Chorale Variations Chorale Variations is comprised of five short movements, all variations on an original chorale theme, which appears in the second movement. It incorporates a range of musical styles: from lighthearted, dance-like passages to lyrical solo lines. It takes advantage of the wide range of sonic possibilities that the marimba presents with music that is warm, rich, and vibrant.

A Great Weekend at TMEA

This past weekend I was in Memphis, TN for the 2014 Tennessee All-State conference. I had the pleasure of meeting many wonderful students and teachers from Tennessee, as well as conductors of the all-state ensembles.  The 11-12 (junior/senior) all-state band was premiering a new piece of mine titled "Journeys."  The band was conducted by renown conductor Dr. John Lynch, who really brought the new piece to life along with a band of really strong young musicians.  The students gave a fantastic performance in the Cannon Center on Saturday and it was an honor to be there with them! The day before, Friday, I gave a presentation at the conference titled "Working With Composers: Creative Ideas for Collaboration & Synergy."  I had a nice group of participants who were teachers and students in TN, and we had a great time talking about ideas for interacting with composers.  Also on Friday, the Ooltewah High School band performed "Goodnight, Goodnight" as part of their concert at TMEA.  I had the opportunity to visit with them and tell them the story behind the piece.  It was a lot of fun! Thanks to Joel Denton, Director of the Ooltewah band, and Rick Murphy who guest conducted the piece.

Thanks to everyone at TMEA who made my trip possible, and who made the all-state conference a wonderful experience for all! Here are a few pictures from the weekend:

Upcoming Performances

I feel so fortunate to have all these wonderful ensembles and musicians performing my music!  Here are some upcoming events: April 23, 2013 Troy University Symphony Band performs co-commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive Troy, AL

April 25, 2013 University of Connecticut Wind Ensemble performs Flash Black Storrs, CT More info

April 25, 2013 Abilene Christian University Wind Ensemble performs co-commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive Abilene, TX More info

April 28, 2013 Bethel College Wind Ensemble performs lead commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive North Newton, KS More info

April 28, 2013 Illinois State University Wind Symphony perfoms Flash Black Bloomington, IL More info

April 29, 2013 Spring Arbor College Wind Ensemble performs co-commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive Spring Arbor, MI

May 2, 2013 West Liberty University Wind Ensemble performs co-commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive West Liberty, WV More info

May 4, 2013 Pacific University Band performs co-commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive Forest Grove, OR More info

June 5, 2013 University of California Davis Wind Ensemble performs co-commissioner world premiere performance of This World Alive Davis, CA More info