Everything Band Podcast

Thank you to Mark Connor for the opportunity to speak on his Everything Band Podcast. It’s a great podcast to hear from various composers, conductors and educators. It was nice to share some aspects of my story and be able to give credit to some key people in my life. I don’t know where I’d be if it were not for people like David Gillingham, David Ludwig and Jim Gray. Music is so important and for some reason it seems to be one of the best vehicles to bring out community and encouragement in people. Such a wonderful thing!



I will lament and love

I said these words almost two years ago (video below). I had no idea just how tightly I'd have to hold on to these very beliefs in order to write the piece I just finished.  I said those words before my piece, Eternity in an Hour, was performed.  However, these words are even more applicable to the piece I just wrote that is dedicated to Stoneman Douglas High School, titled I will lament and love. The piece is a lament, but also a display of hope.  I've included 17 short solos throughout the work to draw attention to the individuals who lost their lives.  

The students at Stoneman Douglas are putting hope on display right now and I find this beautiful.  When you sing through suffering (whether through the human voice or giving voice to an instrument through human breath), that means hope is present.  A lament can hold the saddest melody, but if that melody is sung then hope is present.  These students are singing through their instruments and that shows hope and beauty.

I was approached in February about writing a piece to give to the group at Stoneman Douglas and we are now at the end of the process.  The Ohio State University Wind Symphony generously recorded the piece to give them as a gift as soon as I finished the work.  I am so glad to have been a part of such a thoughtful process.


Upcoming Performances

6 wind ensemble performances coming up!

February 11th- Capital University will premiere "Solace Dance"

February 22nd- The University of West Georgia will premiere "Poem at Cantwell Cliffs" with Raquel Rodriquez as trumpet soloist

February 25th- Quad City Wind Ensemble will perform "Yet not as I will...".

March 3rd-Columbia University gives the US premiere of "Beauty Broken"

March 5th- Rowan University will premiere "Autumn Air".

April 23rd- Arizona State University concert band will perform "Dance the Joy Alive".  Winner of composition contest for the Arizona State University concert band which was held by the Beta Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi.

ITG 2017

I have attended each International Trumpet Guild conference for the last 4 years as my music has been performed. I always enjoy being surrounded by the sounds of trumpet and catching up with old friends (and making new ones!)  This year my trumpet solo, Refractions, was featured on the New Works Recital. Rob Waugh approached me about a year ago to write him a solo.  He mentioned that he'd like it to be a piece that his students could also easily perform. He performed the third movement of this piece on the recital in Hershey, PA.  He sent me a recording of the piece from a recital he gave at his school last Fall, but it was so wonderful to finally hear his big and beautiful sound live. 


It was also great getting to catch up with a former Michigan classmate, Jason Bergman.  He is such a great trumpet player and is a person of great personality and character!  He has some of my music in his hands and I can't wait to hear what he does with it. 

It was a great conference as always and I walk away ready to write some new music!


Aaron Copland:

"It occurs to me to wonder: are you a better person for having heard a great work of art? Are you morally a better person, I mean? In the largest sense, I suppose you are, but in the more immediate sense, I doubt it. I doubt it because i have never seen it demonstrated. What happens is that a masterwork awakens in us reactions of a spiritual order that are already in us, only waiting to be aroused. When Beethoven's music exhorts us to "be noble," "be compassionate," "be strong," he awakens moral ideas that are already within us. "

Over time, works of great beauty can change a person.  These works can bring out the person you are meant to be. Protect your ears from mere entertainment.  Find the music that will carve out channels within your soul where beauty and courage can be stored.  

Upcoming Performances in 2017

Monterey Letters, Performance at the University of Akron by Mike Waddell on euphonium on February 1st and at Akron University on February 11th.

Postcard from Monterey and Solace Dance, Premiere planned at Davis Middle School February 13th

Monterey Letters, Performance at Mississippi University for Women by Dr. James Zingara on trumpet on March 3rd. 

Monterey Letters, Performance by Kate Amrine on trumpet in New York, NY in the Spring (date TBD)

Until the Peace Comes, Premiere planned by the ATLAS quartet in March

Peanut Butter Jam, Premiere at Gahanna Jefferson Middle School East on their Spring concert

Beauty Broken, Premiere planned at Bath Spa University in Europe in April

Refractions, Performance by Robert Waugh at the ITG conference in Hershey, PA in May