(almost) September Update

I’m working on a blog entry about our dinner at Mario Batali’s restaurant, Babbo, but in the meantime, it seemed a general update was in order.  Please forgive the list approach, but it’s a lot of small odds-and-ends…

* My newest piece, “Hymn to a Blue Hour,” completed in early August, will be available for performances starting December 4.  (The world premiere, at Mesa State College, is on December 3.)  If you haven’t checked out the demo recording, I hope you will. There are some exciting performances coming up for “Hymn…,” including a performance in December at the Midwest Clinic with the Texas A&M Wind Symphony, and with the top Texas All-State Band in February.

* Plans are under way to record “Kingfishers Catch Fire” on BluRay, in full-surround sound, this fall.  More about this after the session.

* The Ohio State University Wind Symphony (Go Bucks!) will be recording “Asphalt Cocktail” this fall for upcoming release on the Naxos label.

* I made my national radio debut yesterday when “Kingfishers Catch Fire” was featured on public radio’s Performance Today.  The web-stream of the broadcast is still online.  The performance, by Jerry Junkin and the University of Texas Wind Ensemble, was phenomenal.  Hearing the broadcast, I’ve no idea why I never posted this recording on the website, but I’ll do that as soon as I receive the master recording.

* The Bluecoats Drum and Bugle Corps toured this summer with “Asphalt Cocktail.”  The corps placed third at the national finals — their best showing ever.  Congratulations!

* Upcoming campus residencies include the University of Michigan (September 28-October 1 — my birthday!), Eastern Michigan University (a few rehearsals during the U. Michigan visit), Florida State University (October 17-19), Texas A&M Corpus Christi (November 17-18), Mesa State College (December 1-4), University of Northern Colorado (January 13-14), University of Florida (February 16-17) , Sam Houston State (April 8-9), and Michigan State (April 16-17).   All scheduled performances are viewable on the Performance list.

* Although it’s not really a “residency” since I already live here, I’m especially excited about the upcoming rehearsals and performance here at the University of Texas, where, on September 26, Joseph Alessi (principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic) and Jerry Junkin will perform “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone,” at Bass Concert Hall — the “big hall” here at UT.  The concert will also include “Kingfishers Catch Fire,” and the second half will feature Frank Ticheli’s piece, “Playing with Fire,” with the Jim Cullum Jazz Band.

* I’m about to write a true “grade 3” piece.  (For those who don’t know what that means, “grade 3” refers to technical difficulty, on a 1-5 scale.  A “grade 3” should be playable by just about any high school band, and most middle school bands.)  This piece should be completed by November 1.  In a first, at least for me, the consortium was funded entirely through connections on Facebook.

* I intend to spend the afternoon playing NCAA 2011.

* Lastly, this summer, the Brass Band of Battle Creek gave the premiere of their brass band arrangement of “Asphalt Cocktail.”  Here’s the video:


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