Two Upcoming Performances

Both the Quad City Wind Ensemble in Davenport, Iowa and the Baylor University Concert Band will be performing the band version of Toward Sky’s End on Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 3:00PM. The performance in Iowa will be led by Brian Hughes, D.M.A. at Allaert Auditorium in the Galvin Fine Arts Center at Saint Ambrose University and the performance in Waco will be conducted by Dr. Phillip Obado at Jones Concert Hall in the Glennis McCrary Music Building. The Baylor performance is following a previous performance last summer by one of their high school summer music camp ensembles. I am very excited for both of these upcoming performances and wish all of the musicians the best in their preparations!

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Performance in Spain

Clarinetist Wolfgang Puntas just shared this video of him and the Banda Sinfónica Municipal de Sevilla in Spain giving an outstanding performance of my 2011 arrangement of Bassi’s Fantasia da Concerto for Solo Clarinet and Concert Band.

Back from Chicago, On to Jacksonville

My brother and I had an amazing time in Chicago this past weekend. Our whirlwind trip included stops at the Art Institute, Millennium Park, the top of the Hancock Building, the Lincoln Park area, and attendance of concerts by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and St. Petersburg Philharmonic. We also waited an hour to eat deep-dish pizza and authentic Chicago hotdogs for the first time (I still feel terrible). Chicago is an incredible place – the city’s architecture is beautiful and their public artwork was inspiring.

Now, I’m back in Austin for a couple days before my trip to Jacksonville, Florida where the University of Alabama Symphonic Band under the direction of Randall Coleman will be performing Toward Sky’s End at the 2014 CBDNA Southern Regional Conference on Saturday, March 1 at 4:00pm. Their entire program also includes works by Daniel Montoya Jr., Bert Appermont, Percy Grainger, David Maslanka, and Eric Whitacre. I can hardly believe that my piece is being performed alongside works by these great composers – I’ve been listening to many of them and have performed their works since I was in middle school band. I’m looking forward to meeting Mr. Coleman and the UA Symphony Band as well as other attendees of the conference and can’t wait to hear the performance on Saturday!

CBDNA/News

On Saturday, March 1, 2014, the University of Alabama Symphonic Band under the direction of Randall Coleman will be performing Toward Sky’s End (Band Version) at the 2014 CBDNA Southern Regional Conference (University of North Florida, Jacksonville). I am thrilled to say that I will be in attendance along with fellow Austin composer Daniel Montoya Jr. whose work, “X“, will also be featured on the program. I fly out the morning of February 28th and the performance will be the next afternoon. This will be my first time to travel to work with a group and hear one of my pieces performed. I can hardly wait!

Besides that, the year is off to a good start. Classes at UT are looking to be great this semester and I have just begun studying with renowned composer Donald Grantham. Besides my trip to Florida, I will be taking a trip to Chicago with my brother in mid-February. I can’t wait to see Chicago for the first time. I’m hoping the weather is bearable… we had a light freeze in Austin that practically shut down the city. People have told me to be prepared for single digit temperatures plus strong winds – can’t even imagine. Should be interesting to say the least. Lastly, my works have seen recent sales in Europe as well as my first sale to Asia! It’s been an eventful January – let’s hope it keeps up for the rest of the year!

Upcoming Performance by UA

This University of Alabama Symphony Band will be giving their first performance of Towards Sky’s End Monday, November 18, 2013 at 7:30CST. This concert is in preparation for their upcoming performance at the 2014 CBDNA Southern Regional Conference in Jacksonville, Florida. If you would like to listen to the live streaming of the concert, click here!

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

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!

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.

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.

Toward Sky’s End (Band Ver.) Premiere!

I conducted the premiere of the band setting with the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble. Here is the recording from last Friday night.