Wind Band

GREEN DIAMOND, the sequel to MAGNOLIA STAR, now available!

Green Diamond is a brand new 6 minute, grade 4.5/5 piece for wind band that is inspired by the blues scale and the American Railroad.

In my middle school jazz band, my director started every rehearsal with a blues scale exercise, which has stuck with me to this day. In 2012, I had the idea to write a concert band piece based on the blues scale, and Magnolia Star was born.

Last year, I began envisioning a sequel – a piece that builds on Magnolia Star, uses new harmonic and melodic material, and includes a few other surprises, like an off-stage alto sax soloist.

It’s a fast and fun ride that incorporates the blues scale, the minor/major chord, and even the Dies Irae! 

Check out this trailer for a behind-the-scenes look at Green Diamond:

Green Diamond is the second piece in the Magnolia Star Trilogy, a group of pieces inspired by the blues scale and the American railroad. Magnolia Star, the first in the series, was written in 2012.

Green Diamond uses the blues scale as a key influence, but it also includes a new element: the minor/major chord (C-Eb-G-B-D). These two sound worlds (the blues scale and the minor/major chord) generate harmonic and melodic material that alternate, combine, and compete throughout the piece.

Like Magnolia Star, the influence of the American railroad provides inspiration for sounds that are fast, driving, and energetic. Green Diamond also features an off-stage alto saxophonist who provides somewhat distant, jazzy reminders of the blues scale, offering an answer to Green Diamond’s preoccupation with the minor/major chord.

Green Diamond, like Magnolia Star, was the name of a train that ran in the early 20th century as part of the Illinois Central Railroad.



"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.

Magnolia Star at Midwest!

Magnolia Star at Midwest!

I'm thrilled to share that Magnolia Star will be performed by the Alabama Winds at this year's Midwest Clinic in Chicago on December 20th at 12:00pm. The ensemble is directed by Randall Coleman.  It's an honor to have my work included at the conference, and I look forward to working with the Alabama Winds and seeing many friends and colleagues there!

Recap: Composer-in-Residence at UMass Honor Band Festival

Recap: Composer-in-Residence at UMass Honor Band Festival

A couple of weeks ago I had the honor of serving as Composer-in-Residence for the UMass Honor Band Festival. Matthew Westgate, the Director of Wind Studies at UMass invited me to participate in this wonderful day. 

I spent two days at UMass; the first was focused on working with UMass students. I worked with the Wind Ensemble in a rehearsal of my Magnolia Star and Goodnight, Goodnight.

New Recordings Up! Our City, Vermont State Fair, and Adagietto

New Recordings Up! Our City, Vermont State Fair, and Adagietto

Our City was commissioned by Florida International University and premiered on October 13th on a concert titled "Urban Landscapes" at the FIU Music Festival in Miami, FL. 

The work is scored for women's choir, piano, harp, oboe and two percussion. Listen to the recording from the premiere here.