|Looking Back and Ahead|
Today I'm thinking of the past and the future. This year marked the 30th anniversary of my joining the U.S. Foreign Service. Posted to Lima, I ended up directing a church choir, getting drawn back to music and starting a second career as a composer. Much has happened since. Ten years ago I built a website and organized my catalog. Subsequently, I registered as a local business, upgraded the site, produced recordings, researched scores and joined Facebook, while composing lots. Best of all I got to work with wonderful musicians in many states and countries who brought my work to life. I am blessed truly and grateful! Having recently moved on from the Service (consider me "rewired" rather than retired), I am thrilled to have more time for composition and study. One result was a fabulous week with American composer-legend Alice Parker. "Come Away To The Skies" grew from that inspiration and will premiere in a few weeks. For Advent/Christmas, I arranged the "Besançon Carol" for organ, produced a two-voice setting of "Yule, Yule" and published a previous "Jesu Bambino." Today, the Stuttgart German American Chorus under Thomas Carter premiered "Ero Cras: The O Antiphons" for SATB and organ, one of my longest works to date. This commission was completely his idea and I think we're all happy with the result. And recently the William and Mary Choir (C. Paul Heins, conductor) chose "Angele Dei" as the piece from their fall repertoire to reprise in December. These students' vote of confidence means a lot to me! So here's wishing all of you the very best for the holiday season and for 2015. The new year and its possibilities are exciting! More about them soon...
|Big Pieces & Little Projects |
"Summertime, and the livin' is easy..." Great song, but not true for composers and conductors! I've returned to my 30+ minutes psalms for choir & orchestra written in Austria but set aside the last couple years. Meant to pair with Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, it's getting the finishing touches at last! Meanwhile, my friends at the Stuttgart German-American Chorus have begun rehearsing "Ero Cras," the O Antiphons to perform in December for SATB & organ, which was a focus for me last summer. That's about 20 minutes in seven movements. June heard great premieres on both coasts of smaller pieces -- funny Shakespeare in California and devout Latin in Washington, D.C. Current projects include performing editions of Eustache du Caurroy, my latest obsession, for an upcoming reading session plus more wind quintet pieces. My day job's been super busy and satisfying, but now I'm making more time to compose. Stay tuned!