Photo from the Oct. 7 Clutch Concert

The performance of Klezmer Holiday at the University of Texas CLUTCH Concert on Monday, October 7, 2013 was great! Thanks to my friends who put that together – it was a real blast to play that piece again. Fellow UT composer Steve Sachse took some great photos of the concert and I wanted to share one:

CLUTCH - Oct. 2013-32

 

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Upcoming Performance

After a last minute program change, 3 of my friends and I will be performing Klezmer Holiday at the upcoming University of Texas CLUTCH Concert on Monday, October 7, 2013. The concert will feature numerous other solo and chamber works by UT student composers and will take place at 7:30 in the Music Building’s Recital Studio.

Apus and Schumann’s Arabeske

I recently finished another Starbird, IV. Apus (the Bird of Paradise). Despite representing one of the faintest and most underwhelming constellations in the night sky, the piece is (ironically) very fast and exciting and as the 4th of 9 pieces in the full suite serves as the mid-point finale. The next piece to be completed (hopefully this week) is Pavo (the Peacock). I might post some demo recordings in the next couple days… we’ll see.

I do have a recording to post today though! I am planning on switching my principal instrument from saxophone to piano and have prepared Robert Schumann’s Arabeske in C Major, op. 18 to perform for the piano faculty at UT. It is an absolutely incredible piece – painfully beautiful, wistful, and poignant. I have worked on it in my spare time for the last couple weeks and have now prepared it to the point that I can play it all the way through with few to no mistakes. This is probably my favorite piece that I’ve ever played. Hope you all enjoy the recording (and make sure to listen through the end – the epilog is just stunning).

Cygnus

It’s been a while since I posted anything… nearly 3 months. So much for “lots of updates” I guess! Quite a bit has happened, actually, but most relevant is my newly completed piece, “Cygnus”, for cello and piano. Back in January, I started what will be a long term project called “Starbirds” which is going to be a suite of nine pieces for cello and piano, each piece inspired by one of the nine constellations representing birds. The first piece I completed is “Cygnus”, the swan – (in my opinion) one of the most beautiful and interesting constellations in the night sky. I’m quite happy with how the piece turned out and look forward to eventually getting a recording to share on here. I don’t have any performances lined up yet but am hopeful for one later in the fall or winter. The next piece (already in progress) is “Columba”, the dove, which I anticipate completing in the next couple weeks.

Other projects to be tackled this year: a new piece for wind ensemble and a piece for pipe organ for my old teacher to be premiered at the re-dedication service of the University Presbyterian Church pipe organ in February 2014. A few more star-birds as well! Stay tuned for more.

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

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!

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.