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

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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!

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.

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:

Updates/News

The April issue of Austin Monthly Magazine which features me in one of it’s articles is now being sold around the Austin area. The article, called “The Wunderkind Years” by Anne Lang features profiles four Austin area athletes and myself.

The wind ensemble arrangement of Toward Sky’s End is now complete and I am in the tedious process of making parts. Luckily, I’ve had so much practice making parts lately that I’m getting pretty efficient doing it. The McNeil High School wind ensemble will be performing it at our final concert this year on May 11 and I will be conducting. I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to work with the band and think it’ll be a great last experience in the band before I graduate.

Preparations are still underway for the Austin Symphony’s performance of Affirmation next month on Thursday, April 26 at 7:30 at the Long Center. This weekend I’ll be recording a video interview about the piece that will be featured before the performance of the piece at the concert. Rehearsals begin in 4 weeks!

The Central Texas Civic Trombone Choir is still working on my piece Two Moods for their upcoming concert in April. Rehearsals are awesome and I’m excited to hear the premier!

Lastly, the McNeil Sax Ensemble is beginning to work on our Spring/Summer program, which will include some cool blues, rock, and pop music with our usual tunes. Go to my YouTube Music Performance Channel to hear some of our stuff.