Below are all of the original compositions I completed in Connecticut. Some were half-done by the time I got here but the majority were conceived, written, and completed here. In a few days I'll be in a new location - the other grad school I should have chosen in New Jersey. There I'll find a new chapter to write and new music to go with it. The emphasis will be on euphonium performance so things will be very different.
It's been a rough two years - one that I'll let the seas of time wash away. Despite this there is still cause for celebration: onward and upward we go. This chapter is finally over; the next one has begun.
So, I invite you to take a listen to some below and comment which one is your favorite, your least favorite, and why. I am always curious which pieces resonate and which don't. You'll hear a distinct difference compared to the works I wrote at the end of my undergrad.
A Moon, A Minute for Choir (2014)
- My grandfather died the day before I arrived in Connecticut. It was a tumultuous time but I was working on finishing this work on the drive up. My relatives were a bit concerned with the seriousness of Io coinciding with his passing but I had planned it that way all along. I finished the work about three days after arriving. It's one of my personal favorites and one that I hope gets premiered soon.
Beacons for Euphonium Quartet (2014)
- My euphonium quartet was begun as a one movement work for my recital but quickly grew into a four-movement adventure of reaching for something you desire. The fourth movement has been performed twice - once on my recital and once with a combined Youth Brass Band of Central Florida/BBCF euphonium ensemble which I got to conduct. It is challenging but an honest portrait of the person I was in my final year in Orlando. There's also not a ton of original music for euphonium quartet which makes this truly unique.
Kids in the Corner for Brass Quintet (2014)
Commissioned by Thomas Smith
- This was quite a bit of fun because composers write suites in such narrow-minded ways. We use what we're told to use and barely think outside the box. This suite was conceived to use dance styles we've been ignoring - hip-hop, 50's prom slow-dance, swing, mosh/head-banging, and a jig. There are even some fun secrets tucked away in the score for the observant listener to find *wink*.
Concerto for Euphonium and Wind Band (2015)
For Dr. Gail Robertson, euphonium
Premiered April 21st, 2016 by Dr. Gail Robertson and the Little Rock Wind Symphony - Israel Getzov, Conductor
- This piece was a blast to write. It began in early June with me waking up in the wee hours to write the entire framework. The next days were spent refining ideas and coming up with new ones to pursue. The second movement is an homage to my grandfather. The theme is the only thing I played the day before he passed and it was only fitting to use it here. There's even a small quote from the piece I wrote for my grandparents that premiered about 5 years before. The performers did a bang up job at the premiere and the live recording came out phenomenally. I've been working on the piano reductions with a superb pianist in the Orlando area. Everything so far is sounding as intended - stay tuned!
Clarinet Trio No. 1 (2015)
- Written because my friend Felix kept saying "you've never written for clarinet". The first movement is built upon imitation, the second was written to reflect the emptiness and unanswered questions of loss, the third is an homage to Felix's favorite interval: the tritone.
The Phoenix for Tuba and Piano (2015)
Commissioned by Kayla Davis
Premiered April 19th by Kayla Davis (tuba) and Elisabeth Tomczyk (piano)
- Written as a defiant raise of the fist to the Hartt School and the professors/students who keep it from what it could be. It uses a motive assigning pitches to "PHOENIX" and quotes certain aspects of Edward Gregson's Symphony in Two Movements. The piece is about the journey from darkness to light and the battles involved.
Concerto for Euphonium and Tuba-Euphonium Quartet (2015)
- Written because I had some fun ideas and there wasn't a concerto of the kind in existence. This was written around the time I was pumping out arrangement after arrangement for the tuba-euphonium quartet I was in. It's a real test for the soloist with great energy.
Writer's Block (2015)
A film by Robby Sparks
Premiered October 23rd, 2015 at the Melbourne Film Festival by the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra - Aaron Collins, conductor
- This was a great collaboration between the filmmaker, Robby Sparks, the orchestra (led by Aaron Collins), and I that resulted in a fantastic premiere performance. The orchestra picked up on the humor and executed it brilliantly. The film has been accepted to yet another film festival so fingers crossed on its continued success!
Horizon for Trumpet and Two Percussionists (2016)
Commissioned by Jackson Arthur
- Inspired by Jolivet and the film As Above, So Below. The key to this work are the time divisions on both sides of the "singularity". Mirror motifs are frequent and it's a test of all musicians involved. It was also written at a time when I was struggling frequently as evidenced by Edward Gregson's (he's an inspiration, ok?) once-called "cry for help" motif (not his own words) featured in many of his works.
Concerto for Flute and Flute Choir (2016)
Commissioned by Dr. Nora Lee Garcia
- This work was the most intense to write. There are multiple layers of motif relationships that would take hours to discuss. It was one that tested my creativity and my patience. Despite the struggle I believe it is the most complex and finest display of technique I have created so far. It is a work I am proud to close this chapter with and one that I will be measuring myself against in the years to come.
There's much more to come. I'm even on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram if you want to stay connected through my adventures. There's so much more music to come, many of which I can't reveal...yet.