Recent Astrophotography

Here are some pictures that I have taken in the past couple weeks through my telescope.

1st Quarter Moon

Saturn

Full Moon

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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!

Astronomy, pictures, etc.

Over the last year, I’ve really gotten interested in astronomy and taken it on as a serious hobby. I got a really nice 12″ Orion GoTo Dobsonian Telescope for graduation and have messed around a bit with taking pictures. So far, it’s only been easy targets like the moon and the sun. We got some great pictures of the Venus transit last week and I wanted to share some of the cool pictures I’ve been taking. Expect temporary updates with new pictures.

Here is a picture of the scope with our homemade off-axis solar filter:

Next is the Venus transit and sunspots:

And the moon:

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.

Recordings from Concert

Here is the recording of the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble performing my new arrangement of Alamiro Giampieri’s Il Carneval di Venezia featuring Dr. Vanguel Tangarov, solo clarinet. The recording of my new band setting of Toward Sky’s End will be up early next week, along with some recordings of the other pieces we played.

News/Upcoming Events

I found out recently that I was a recipient of the Thomas A. Caswell and Rebeca Diaz Caswell Memorial Scholarship for band students in the Austin area going to UT! The Austin Symphony’s last performance of Affirmation at the 2nd Annual Young Composers Concert went very well. Lately, I’ve been busy working on a new arrangement of Giamperi’s Carnival of Venice for solo clarinet and band for McNeil’s Spring Concert next Friday, where we’ll be featuring our clarinet teacher Vanguel Tangarov.

Later today is the Mid-Texas Symphony’s performance of Toward Sky’s End at 4:00 in the New Braunfels Civic Center. Like I mentioned earlier, our band’s spring concert is this coming Friday. Besides my Carnival of Venice arrangement, I’ll be conducting the premier of my new wind ensemble version of Toward Sky’s End and we will have a joint production between the MHS wind ensemble and choir of selections from Orff’s Carmina Burana, which I have helped organize. It’s been a very busy couple weeks, but it’ll be all done soon enough.

Upcoming Events/News/Article

The Austin Symphony Orchestra is performing Affirmation this coming Thursday, April 26, 2012 at 7:30 at the Long Center as the last piece of the 2nd Annual Young Composers Concert. This concert features the top 7 entries in their 2nd Annual Young Composers Contest. Tickets are cheap, only $8.

The McNeil High School Wind Ensemble has begun working on my new band arrangement of Toward Sky’s End which they will premiere on May 11, 2012. Should be a great concert. Rehearsals are going very well and I’m very excited about all of it.

I have accepted my admission to UT Austin’s Butler School of Music as a composition student.

Finally, the article from Austin Monthly has been published online and can be read here. The article, called “The Wunderkind Years” by Anne Lang features profiles four Austin area athletes and myself.

Premier of Two Moods, etc.

Below is a youtube video of the Central Texas Civic Trombone Choir’s performance of the premier of my piece Two Moods (2011) for Four-part Trombone Ensemble:

Also, last Friday our band had our UIL performance. We performed (among other things) selections from Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana (arranged for concert band by John Krance). The performance was probably our best ever and extremely exciting to be a part of. Below is the video of the McNeil HS Wind Ensemble’s performance: