It has been a very successful year for myself as well as my band program. I was able to do four commissions for very different types of instruments and groups. Two of my former students are graduating as band directors this year and I had the honor of writing each of them a solo for their senior recitals. Both premiers went very well and the pieces were well received. I wrote my second piece for choir in response to the tragic shooting of elementary students and faculty at Sandy Hook. This piece is yet to be premiered but it is in capable hands and should be performed soon! The other commission I took on this year was the kind of thing I live for. Mr. Chris Rorhbaugh from Central High School commissioned an aggressive and modern work for wind ensemble. He and I share a love for slightly more avante guard work and this piece fit the bill while still providing enough melodic and memorable material for audiences of all types to enjoy. The premier was wonderful and his band played very well including some amazing solo voices!
My band program had a banner year. Our marching show, “Ritu”, was one of those magical shows that fell together flawlessly on the creative end. The drill (which I also write) was simply amazing and the band marched and played very well. We changed things up after marching band this year and did a “Salute to America” indoor marching show and followed that up with instrumental Christmas caroling. We also went for a change of pace in the concert season by focusing on small ensemble and solo work. We ended up with over 100 entries in the West Plains music festival. When we did finally come together for “concert band”, we were really playing well! The band enjoyed playing “Foundry” by John Mackey and “With Each Sunset” by Richard Saucedo.
I have also decided to begin working towards my PHD or DMA in Music ed. I’m currently trying to figure out the best plan for this, but I am beyond stoked about growing as an educator, professional, musician, and person!