2012: Year in Review

A few days ago, I said goodbye to a very exciting and eventful year. In 2012, I got a great amount of work done and saw new levels of success with my music. With the completion of my new band arrangement of Toward Sky’s End came 6 performances throughout Texas and at the Wisconsin-Superior Tri-State Honor Band Festival. The original orchestral version of Toward Sky’s End was performed by 3 professional orchestras from Texas and Michigan and my newer composition Affirmation had it’s premier and 2 more subsequent performances by the Austin Symphony Orchestra. I started selling my holiday saxophone quartets in the fall and in the few months since they went up for sale, I sold dozens of copies across every region of the USA as well as Germany and Australia (my first international sales!). Besides my compositions, school has been off to a great start and I ended my first semester with a 3.77 GPA.

2013 is looking to be a good year as well. I am looking forward to taking my compositions to new levels as I begin studying with the incredible UT professors and maintaining the same academic success in my classes that I had in my first semester. I have a great piano accompaniment job coming up for a high school solo and ensemble competition in February which is proving to be a great gig and one I hope to expand on in the future. If 2013 is anything like 2012, it should be a great year (and from my experience, every year seems to be better than the one before…). It’s hard to imagine what the future will bring – a couple years ago I never would have dreamed of all of the opportunities that I stumbled on in recent times. I’m looking forward to another exciting and eventful year – stay tuned for (hopefully) lots of updates!

Hook ’em

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Hear Performances from Australia!

As a wrote about last week, the Adelaide University Medical Orchestra ”Christmas Crew” gave an awesome performance of a couple of my holiday saxophone quartets on Radio Adelaide 101.5 FM last Thursday. If you are interested in listening to that broadcast, it can be heard here.

Their saxophone quartet also recently put up a great video of them performing Hark! The Herald Angels “Swing” that I wanted to share:

Thanks to Jolie Miller for sharing these awesome performances!

Radio Performance in Australia!

The Adelaide University Medical Orchestra “Christmas Crew” saxophone quartet in Adelaide, South Australia will be performing a number of my holiday saxophone quartets on Radio Adelaide 101.5 FM on Thursday, December 13 at 8:30am CDT (that’s 4:00pm on Wednesday, Dec. 12 in Texas, haha) as part of their holiday outreach to raise money for local charities and health organizations.

Congrats to the Westwood High School Jazz Sax Quintet!

Congratulations to the Westwood High School Jazz Sax Quintet who recently won 1st place in the High School Group Instrumental division of the Majic 95.5 2012 Muse Awards performing my arrangement, Hark! The Herald Angels “Swing”. They and the other winners will be performing again at a public concert on Sunday, December 2nd at Texas Performing Arts Bass Concert Hall at 2:00PM. Click here for more info!

Site Updates

I’m excited to announce that a series of major updates to my website are almost complete. I have added a new Ordering page to the site to provide detailed information on the ordering process and included a comprehensive catalog of my available works for prospective buyers. I added PayPal buttons throughout the site and created a shopping cart to make the purchasing process easier as well.

People have already been making use of the new site updates. The Jazz Holiday Collection and it’s individual pieces have been more and more popular as we are entering the holiday season with many sales throughout the country!

All of the site updates should be completed by the end of the week. Stay tuned for more!

Upcoming Performance!

The 2012 Tri-State Black Band at the Wisconsin-Superior Annual Tri-State Honor Band Festival will be performing the band adaption of my piece Toward Sky’s End with their clinician, composer and conductor Noah Taylor, at Thorpe Langley Auditorium at the University of Wisconsin-Superior on October 18, 2012 (More Info). I’m so thrilled that my music is making it out that far away from home (that’s about 1,300 miles away from Austin)! I wish them a fantastic clinic and concert and hope they enjoy the piece! I hope to hear/see some recordings… Besides that, school’s going well and I can’t complain much. Allergies aren’t great, but I’m eating and sleeping better than I have since I was a little kid (we’re talking 9+ hours a night!) and I think that’s helping to keep me pretty healthy. Normally this time of year I’m about to drop dead from congestion! Well, that’s all for now. Stay tuned for more!

Radio!

I was driving this evening a little before 10:00pm and was humming the 3rd movement of Pines of Rome in the car. While I was humming it, I thought to myself, ‘wouldn’t it be nice to actually hear some real music?’. We just got back from Hawaii and had been there for almost 2 weeks and I hadn’t listened to KMFA since before we left, so I figured that I’d flip to that real fast and hear what was on. I started listening to what was playing and started thinking, ‘hey, that sounds familiar’, then after a couple seconds I realized they were playing the Austin Symphony’s April 20, 2011 performance of my piece Toward Sky’s End! You have to imagine the shock and surprise – I was just turning on the radio and had no idea what they were going to be playing, and it was my piece! Anyways, I guess it was the Classical Austin show with Dianne Donovan and she was joined by Peter Bay who was highlighting some of the music they had recently played. They ended the whole program with my piece and even played it in the background while they were talking. Best part, she said my last name correctly!

Upcoming Performances

I got confirmation today that the Heart of Texas Concert Band under the direction of Mr. Mark Rogers will be performing my recent band adaptation of Toward Sky’s End for 3 concerts in the upcoming weeks, 2 on the 4th of July and one on the 8th. The Austin Symphony’s performance of the original orchestral version of Toward Sky’s End is still on for their 4th of July Concert and Fireworks. Last night was the Flint Symphony Orchestra’s performance of Toward Sky’s End in Flint, Michigan. I can now say that my music has been performed throughout the US (and all throughout Texas). See my Performances page for details.

Performance in Michigan!

I just got a notification from Maestro David Mairs that the Flint Symphony Orchestra in Flint, Michigan will be giving a performance of Toward Sky’s End at 7:00 pm on Thursday, June 28, 2012 during a summer concert in the park series. This concert focuses on American music and composers and I will be one of the composers featured. If you happen to be out in Flint, Michigan next Thursday, go catch this free concert and hear Toward Sky’s End!

Graduation, etc.

I had my final day of high school last Friday and graduated the following Saturday. The graduation ceremony started with me conducting the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble performing my recent band setting of Toward Sky’s End and finished about 2 hours later (after some interesting speeches and 703 of us walking the stage). I still haven’t listened to the video we took of the performance, but I might put it on YouTube if it’s any good.

Now that school’s over, I’m thinking about picking up my saxophone some more and trying to get back into shape before I start at UT next fall. I’ve also started working on a new 3 movement piece for SATB saxophone quartet that I hope to have finished by August.

It looks like the band version of Toward Sky’s End might get some more performance in July. I’ll post dates as soon as I get confirmation. I got official notice that the Austin Symphony programmed the orchestral version for their 4th of July pops concert.

As a little side note, we got a copy of the Austin Symphony’s small promotional “get closer to the music” magazine in the mail. I was tickled to see a picture of their conductor, Peter Bay, holding a copy of the score for Affirmation (open to page 26, by the way) when I opened it up.