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.
This past weekend I had the pleasure of visiting a rehearsal of the NYSSMA New York All-State Wind Ensemble, conducted by Jared Chase. The opener for their program was my Magnolia Star, and these young musicians sounded incredible! We spent about 45 minutes together, worked on some musical details, and I tried my best to answer all their great questions about music careers, improvisation, what inspired my work, and more. It was super fun, and the concert at Eastman Theater was equally thrilling. These fantastic young musicians had the great honor of playing on Eastman Theater stage and looking out to a packed, beautiful hall. It was a great honor for me as well, and I'm grateful!
I’m thrilled that the Northshore Concert Band, directed by Mallory Thompson, will perform Magnolia Star on their November 5, 2016 concert. The band recently featured my work on their blog – check it out here.
Magnolia Star (for wind band) was recently performed at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia by the Los Altos High School (CA) Festival Ensemble and by the U.S. Navy Band on the steps of the U.S. Capitol! It is a great honor to have my work included on these programs. Magnolia Star has been performed by a wide range of ensembles: high school, all-state, college, community, and professional. This past year it was performed by both the U.S. All-National High School Band and the Canadian National High School Honor Band.
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!