Jan 2011 composer newsletter- and many thanks to you!
Happy New Year to all!
Here is what is going on in my little corner of the music world:
2010 was an amazing year for me. I attended three regional ACDA conferences (Cincinnati, Tucson, and Memphis) and met all sorts of new folks and reconnected with people I already knew. I had pieces either performed or on interest/reading sessions in six out of the seven conferences- what a delight. I also blogged heavily from each conference I attended, and I know many of you enjoyed reading the play by play (not sure how I did all that- did I sleep at all?).
The year finished up for me in grand manner- a trip to Grinnell College (with my hilarious seven year old sidekick Aidan in tow, "Roadtrip!") for a major performance, some guest conducting in Pittsburgh, and a trip to Flagstaff, AZ to hear the Northern Arizona University choirs sing a commission premiere (SATB/organ/brass/perc/handbells) on their Holiday Dinner Festival. Thanks to Edie Copley, Ryan Holder and the students of NAU for being such wonderful artists and hosts. And thanks to the big red rocks of Sedona, AZ for being so gorgeous!
There were performances all over the US of my music- pieces big-- the previously alluded to "El Limonar Florido" at Grinnell College was one (also "Play with your Food" got wide performances) and small-- performances galore by youth choirs of my wacky "Peace on earth...and lots of little crickets", which remains Walton's best-selling octavo for the third straight year. My music is also winding up in Asian markets thanks to my trip to South Korea in the fall of 2009 and through some networking in China, Australia and New Zealand, with some assists by Tim Sharp, Nancy Menk, and Mary Hopper.
Coming up in the first half of 2011-- I have four new pieces out in time for the national ACDA conference in Chicago. For young SA choirs "Night Song", with a beautiful text about birdcall by Jean Burden (Roger Dean cat. # 15/2591R) and a gentle SA arrangement of the spiritual "My Lord, what a morning" (Roger Dean cat. # 15/2849R). For HS through adult women's choirs, the long awaited treble version of "Mashed Potato Love Poem" (Walton, not sure of cat. number but it will be out very soon), and my setting of the goings on in the Garden of Eden as deconstructed with razor sharp wit by American poet Diane Lockward-- "Eve's Confession" (SSA/piano, Roger Dean cat. # 15/2838R). Let me know if you would like a free persual copy of any of these; I can easily get the Roger Dean titles to you as they are very good about getting music out there to directors. I'll make sure that next year there are some mixed titles published.
I will be traveling to Hong Kong in late February for a week long festival conducting youth choirs and coaching conductors in my music (including a commission premiere) and other new-ish music. In May I will be composer-in-residence with the Cincinnati Children's Choir, where two new commissioned pieces will be premiered. These are pretty special, as director Robyn Lana and I decided that I would set poetry by local children, and the two poems I set are really delightful. The summer will be filled with composing and another six week session directing the choir at the North Carolina Governor's School in Raleigh which is one heck of a fun, yet demanding job.
I am still always looking for advanced choirs who have interest in singing my advanced music- please let me know if you'd like to peruse longer pieces, multi-movement pieces, more difficult pieces. Many of these are my best writing, yet are hard to make known to the choral world through traditional publishers since most of them just want the easy, short stuff (arghh). In fact, I have just finished a challenging double choir setting of Billings' "When Jesus Wept"- let me know if you'd like a perusal pdf file! Another piece, "The leaves are falling", could be very effective as a 9/11 memorial piece if you are looking for repertoire for the tenth anniversary of that sad event. This piece is about three minutes long and is for SATB/piano- it alludes artistically, in a sense, to 9/11 - the text, by Rilke but in English, is much older. And by the way, I am now accepting commissions for next season. I'd love to hear from you if you have an interest in something new and special for your choir. Also, for any of you doing my music soon, I am available (for free) to meet and work with your choir via Skype, which has been a great communication tool lately for me.
Finally, I'd like to thank a bunch of people by name- folks who, in calendar year 2010, conducted/commissioned my music, did me a favor or two, mentored or encouraged me in some way, etc. I will probably forget someone (sorry in advance). Without all of you the little black marks on paper that I scribble mean nothing- thank you so much for collaborating with me-- you all touch my heart:
Kirk Aamot, David Baldwin, Angie Batey, Bryan Black, Dennis Blubaugh, Meredith Bowen, Brian Bohrer, Joani Brandon, Charles Bruffy, Sean Burton, Margaret Butterfield, Shannon Carey, Karyl Carlson, Julie Clemens, Andrew Collins, Drew Collins, Philip Copeland. Edie Copley, Valerie Crescenz, Gwen Dettweiler, Marian Dolan, April Duvic, Tim Fitzpatrick, Scott Foss, Deedy Francis, Jane Ring Frank, Lisa Fredenburgh, Lynne Gackle, Janet Galvan, Dee Gauthier, Sarah Graham, James Green, Matt Greer, Leslie Guelker-Cone, Susan Hahn, Ryan Holder, Mary Hopper, Dan Huff, Daniel Hughes, Cindy Hunter, Emily and James John, Sigrid Johnson, Heather Kinkennon, Tom Koharchik, Erica Kragness, Robyn Lana, Paul LaPrade, Sherri Lasko, Iris Levine, Brad Logan, Gunilla Luboff, Michael McElreath, Nancy Menk, Jonathan Miller, Eric Nelson, Emily Orr, Sharon Paul, Earl Rivers, Jon Rommereim, Catherine Sailer, Michael Sanflippo, Mike Scheibe, Brett Scott, Elena Sharkova, Tim Sharp, Deborah Simpkin King, Justin Sisul, Sandra Snow, Phil Spencer, Ethan Sperry, Debra Spurgeon, Ronald Staheli, Erin Stinson, Joan Szymko, Barbara Tagg, Becky Tyree, Reg Unterseher, Hak-won Yoon, Michael Zemek.
Hope to see you here in Chicago for the ACDA national conference,