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!

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News

A ton of stuff has happened since my last post. First off, the Texas Music Educators Association Convention was a couple weeks ago where I was participating in the All-State Band. I got first chair in the 5A Symphonic Band on Tenor Saxophone! The music wasn’t my favorite, but it was still a blast to play. The program included Island by Donald Crockett, Magneticfireflies by August Read Thomas, Colonial Song by Percy Grainger and Frank Ticheli’s Symphony No. 2.

While there, I found out that I passed my auditions and was accepted in The University of Texas’s Butler School of Music and I got my acceptance into the university a couple days later. Pretty exciting.

Following the Austin Symphony’s performance in late January of the premier of Affirmation, a local newspaper, the Round Rock Leader, wrote an article featuring me and two other local student musicians involved in their high school concert series. I believe that is the first time I’ve been interviewed for and featured in a published article. Pretty cool! Coming up in April is a larger article being published by the Austin Monthly magazine. The article was featuring “five Austin-area young people who are excelling in the realms of performing arts or sports” and I was one of the five people chosen. Got to do my first photo shoot for it which was pretty interesting. That article should run in the April issue.

Still generating new parts for the Austin Symphony’s upcoming performance of Affirmation at the Long Center for the Performing Arts on April 26, 2012. Making some good progress, but still a bit more to do. Preparations are being made for the concert and there is a meeting coming up soon where I should get any and all details about the entire event and the time leading up to it.

Busy time!

The 3 premiere performances of Affirmation took place last week at Travis and McNeil High Schools and were all spectacular! Each performance was better than the performance before it and I am very happy with how they all went. I’m liking my piece more and more every time I hear it! Now that the relaxing time of getting to listen to my music is over, it’s back to work. There are a number of revisions I am making to the piece and I am generating my own set of parts (which I can expect maybe 1/2 hour per part times 33 parts…). Just gotta get all that done in the next month or so in preparation for the next performance at the Long Center on April 26 with Peter Bay conducting. I can’t wait!

I also just found out that the Mid-Texas Symphony under the direction of David Mairs (the conductor who led the ASO in the premieres of both Toward Sky’s End and Affirmation) will be performing Toward Sky’s End in their May concert this year!

The premiere of Two Moods in coming up on April 16 with the Central Texas Civic Trombone Choir. I’m really excited for that also and can’t wait to work with them more in preparation for the concert.

Finally, I am working on a band transcription of Toward Sky’s End (which is actually the ensemble that it was originally envisioned for, not orchestra) which I will conduct at my final concert with the McNeil High School Wind Ensemble this coming May.

A list of all recent/upcoming performances for the year can be found under the new Performances page.

Won Contest!

I found out today that for my second and final time participating in the Austin Symphony Orchestra’s Young Composers Contest my composition was selected as a winning entry! My new piece “Affirmation” was selected as one of the 2 winning compositions and will be premiered by the ASO this coming January and then performed again in April along with the 7 runner-ups. This will be my second composition premiered by the Austin Symphony after “Toward Sky’s End” last January.