A Warm Miami Winter

An update is well overdue here.  Much has happened in the past two months.  First and perhaps most exciting was my recital January 15th.  I was able to pull together a group of excellent performers who gave an amazing concert to a decent-sized crowd of friends and musicians in the Miami area.  On that concert, Stone in Hand was premiered by Julia Lougheed, Andy Eshbach, and Cynthia Burgess.  It was a great run-through for the premiere, and I look forward to its Virginia premiere with Julia Lougheed and also its Texas premiere by my good friend from BYU, Catelyn Gentry.  Premiered by Daniel Velasco, Andy Eshbach, Lee Seidner, Jordan Bidwell, and Brandon Guillen was Oh, That Light!, written for the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival (and it was performed by amazing players who nailed it).  RF ISOLATION: Faraday Cage also had its public premiere despite being my oldest piece in the concert, which was masterfully done by Paige Towsey, Sara Arevalo, Lauren Miller, and Laura Jacyna. And my most performed piece, Thoughtsketches, received its Florida premiere from a new set of performers--Dana Kaufman, John Harris, Monte Taylor, and I.  Finally, four of Six Sax Pieces was performed by Matt Taylor, who gave a compelling Florida premiere of the work.  I am grateful for everyone who supported me and made the night possible.  Catalina von Wrangell provided the audio recording and video, which is indispensable to me as I share my musical ideas with others.

Since the concert, I have been writing my American Guild of Organist commission Wend Your Way, a theme and variations on "Come, Come Ye Saints."  It has provided a unique challenge to me because it deals with such a familiar theme--I have sang this hymn in church meetings since I was a young child.  But it has been a great experience to analyze both the text and music and gain new meaning from it.  I hope that my variations reflect the concepts that I have learned from the music and words.  This will likely be premiered by organist Seth Carlson at a joint-composer concert on April 9th with Morgan Denney and Monte Taylor.  More details on this concert are forthcoming!

In other news, I am a finalist for the New American Voices competition with my setting of Rubén Darío's Tarde del Trópico.  Mario Almonte will premiere this work at the New American Voices concert in Gusman Concert Hall at the University of Miami on March 26th.  It is an exciting opportunity to work with him and his pianist, and I'm looking forward to it.

And last, in preparation of my website's 2.0 version, I am revising all my scores, including a digital version of my handwritten Romance Sonámbulo, which is an interesting challenge.  I will have sample scores online and then my site will be finished.  But it is a huge project to deal with; as much as I enjoy it, I fear there is no end to the work I need to do!

I have been applying to summer festivals and such, and I look forward to the future.  Hopefully I'll have some news of those opportunities in my next post.  It's great to be in Miami, and I'm looking forward to continual sunshine and heat all year round.  Until next time.