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:

Panel Discussion - Composers on Composing & Commissioning

This morning I participated in a panel discussion at KMEA (Kansas All-State Conference) titled "Composers on Composing and Commissioning."  The session was organized by my friend Timothy Shade, Conductor of the Bethel College Wind Ensemble, who performed "Lauda" on Thursday at the conference.  Composer Derek Jenkins and myself talked about writing for wind ensembles, our experience with commissioning, and fielded some excellent questions from the attendees. Derek is a wonderful composer, and it was a pleasure to hear more of his music and hear him discuss his compositional process. I put together this handout: Thoughts On Commissioning, for the occasion.  The handout is by no means an exhaustive tutorial on commissioning, but is instead just some general ideas and information for those interested in commissioning a piece of music.  Many thanks to Tim for organizing the fun discussion and for all the folks that participated!