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.

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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!

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!

Updates!

Well, it’s been over a month since my last post. Since then, I have started school at the University of Texas at Austin as a music composition major in the Butler School of Music. I am finishing my 4th week and classes are going very well. I am very excited to be around and working with so many amazing musicians and am so excited about what I am learning and everything I will be learning over the coming years.

Settling into my apartment was nice and easy and it feels like home. The place is nicely furnished, but feels clean and open. Only ran into bugs 1 time so far, and it was nothing big! I’m really liking this place, and besides the water going out temporarily one evening after a pipe burst, have had an easy stay!

With everything going on, there hasn’t been too much new stuff in my world of composing, but that will be changing soon as I’m starting to work on my next big projects. Stay tuned for more! I’ll finish with this great shot of the waxing gibbous moon from my telescope a few weeks ago:

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Moving

On August 13, I started moving into my new apartment closer to the UT Austin campus where I will be starting school in a couple weeks! All the paper work has been finalized and I will be spending the remainder of the week moving in my furniture and household items with my cousin/roommate. Thanks to the help of all my family near by, the whole place is fully equipped to live very comfortably – beds, furniture, kitchen ware, washer/dryer, etc.! On top of that, my balcony has a great view of downtown Austin and the UT campus as well as the area we’re living in.

The area we’re living in is great. It’s right on the UT shuttle route so I’ll never have to drive to school. On top of that, literally right down the street is a grocery store, pharmacy, gas station, doctors office with after hours, post office, public library, and tons of places to eat – all within easy walking distance. Pretty sweet!

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!