Monday, August 17, 2009

Long time, no blog

Hello friends,

I'm guilty of not blogging for about three months- but I have excuses. First was my all of a sudden appointment to teach this summer at the North Carolina Governor's School and second was a major commission to be filled ASAP for the Incheon City Chorale. So here are a few tidbits and updates and I'll try to get back to more regular blogging!

I have been chosen to be the commissioned composer and conductor for the Tennessee MENC state honors choir-- for 2015. I am very honored regarding this, and am also impressed that the folks in TN can plan that far into the future. I'm lucky to see two weeks out at a time!

More news- my commission for the Incheon City Chorale is complete and is in the hands of the choir in Korea. I am pretty pleased with the piece and hope that they are as well. I'm looking forward to hearing a recording of what they do with it!

Three new pieces will be coming out from Roger Dean in early 2010. Winter Solstice (SSA/harp or piano) with gorgeous solstice texts by New Mexico poets; The Star, a very fun setting of the anonymous astronomical parody text of Twinkle, twinkle little star) for SA/piano; and Ding Dong Merrily on High (SATB/piano or harp), very upbeat, in 7/8 most of the time. I also finally got pieces reviewed in the Choral Journal- nice reviews for Roger Dean publications Cantigas de Amigo and Life has Loveliness to Sell. FYI, Roger Dean is always happy to provide free perusal scores to directors and also has a free new releases mailing list you can add your name to- if you need assistance signing up for this, let me know and I will help.

We did our final concert at the North Carolina Governor's School on July 24th. This was an amazing program of music about various intertwined aspects of water, war, conflict, resolution. We knew it was an intense program, but I don't think any of us up on the stage realized how amazingly intense it would be with a rapt audience of 600 people in Jones Auditorium. Once again, I was so proud of these 32 singers who never gave up on themselves even when the music was battling us at times in week two of rehearsals. In fact, during their final week of rehearsals they were getting so pumped up about that level of perfection they were seeking that I kind of had to gently cool their jets, as I was afraid they would peak too soon. It was natural for them to be thinking this way, as every night of the final week they were witnessing amazing performances by the dance and theatre groups, and we were the last ones scheduled (for the final Friday night) to show our stuff. I was especially grateful for the parental response after the concert and the fact that Dr. McElreath, head of the school, felt that the choral music performance at the state department of instruction (NC DPI) was one of his own personal summer highlights.

JULY 1 2009:

We just had our first two concerts at NC Governor's School East. we sang to a packed house two nights in a row and received mind-blowing standing O's both nights. These young singers connected to their audience all night in a variety of ways- straight singing, choreographed pieces, folk music with indigenous instruments, spirituals sung in the best possible manner, etc. what a joy and what fun to see the audience enthusiasm for "classical" music done with style and energy. "Does classical music still matter"? Those two nights it sure did.

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