Song for the PhilippinesRead more about what we are doing to help the people in the Philippines here: Song for the Philippines
Logo Submission ContestRLCompositions is holding its first logo contest! You can read more about it here!
What the BMB has done for me.I am not one to really write a blog. I put a blog feature on my site with the intention of detailing my composition process on a number of projects. I still plan to do this but I think that first I need to get establish some solid background as to why I compose the way I compose. Composers are influenced by a number of outside factors. These can range from other composers, to trending music, and to personal life events or even ensembles that the composer performed in. There is one ensemble in particular that has revolutionized the way I approach making arrangements of popular music. This ensemble is the Bearcat Marching Band (BMB). The BMB has been known for years for performing show stopping numbers such as movie scores, rock, Billboard 10 top charts, and even original/classical compositions. I had the privilege of being a member for the first 4 years of my college career. In that time I have performed more half time shows then I can remember and have had the incredible opportunity to do things with the ensemble that I thought would never be possible. I have even had the distinct privilege of writing an entire halftime show (music and drill) for the 2011 BMB senior class. I have been actively involved in the marching band activity for almost 10 years now. Performing in the ensemble has been a huge part of developing me as both a composer and as a drill writer. Late 2011 I made a very difficult decision. I had decided not to return to the BMB. This was a really tough choice but due to class conflicts I would not be able the time anymore. I was very saddened by this decision but as they say all good things must come to end. Not in this case. In early 2012 I received a phone call that gave me a second chance. Mr. Alfred Sergel III, the new-old director of bands called me and asked me if I would be involved with the activity again and if I would help the BMB in writing drill. I told him I would be honored to and would love to work with him on it. I told myself I would only get involved with the drill and that would be it, but the BMB had different plans for me. Now we are at the point in the BMB season where we perform at a game known as the Fall Classic. This is a yearly game held at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri against our rival team, Pitt State. While the football teams battled it out during the game, at a halftime the bands battled it out against each other and every year BMB has pushed the limits and left the crowd standing and cheering. This year is a special year as it represents the final game in the Fall Classic series and probably the last time the two bands will meet and be able to perform like they do. But none the less the BMB has prepared a spectacular show this year with some of the hardest drill I have written and a special performance that will leave you wanting more. I know it has left me wanting me more. And with this is mind I had to reflect on the effect has had on me. My marching band arrangements now are designed more to get audiences and the band members pumped and it leads to a much better performance at halftime. I have learned to write arrangements on demand to what is popular and trending. But if I had to choose one thing that I took away from the BMB it is this: pride. I have never seen such a diverse group of people from all majors and backgrounds work together to produce something that is so unique, so powerful, and so exhilarating. It changed the way I compose music and it gave me something to stride to become more like. I want to thank you BMB for allowing me to drill for you this year. I promise you that we have great things planned for you guys to finish the season up. Even though I cannot be a marching member, I am glad that I can still contribute to something that is as great as you guys and I look forward to tomorrow’s performance at Arrowhead.
Space.... The Final FrontierI love space. Its such a immense and rich environment full of things that have yet to be seen, and mysteries that scientists are still unraveling. I have always had this strange fascination with the cosmos and the possibility of humans one day being able to freely travel around them one day. Its with this idea in mind that I have begun writing a new piece for concert band. And I must say it will be the most challenging piece that I have written to date. But unlike most of my other pieces this one has a special place in my heart because it is dedicated the person who has "Bravely gone where no man has gone before...". More details about this piece including its title will be revealed in the upcoming months. But now all I will say is... "...One small step for man... One giant leap for man kind" - Neil Armstrong
Summer Update and New scores on the way!The radio silence is now over! This summer has been a very busy one for me! I finished my summer internship in KC and got a job offer there! But more importantly I got engaged! After nearly 3 years of dating I decided to pop the question and she said yes! The date has been set (July 20th, 2013) and plans are in motion. But just because I've been so busy doesn't mean I haven't been writing! I recently finished Symphony No. 2 in it's entirety! I also have several new concert band pieces coming down the pipe. Along with these, my first jazz chart will be done sometime in September and 2 new String Orchestra pieces will be posted later this month. Lots of great stuff is happening and I have some major announcements coming up soon regarding new film projects and demos I have been writing for. Stay tuned!
A Surreal ExperienceI have been to many concerts in my life and many performances of my works. After a while, there tends to be a generic formula for every concert. And at a certain point, they tend to become very predictable. But not last night. Last night, I made the 2 hour drive to Unionville, MO to hear the Putnam County R-I “Evening with the Arts” concert. I was told ahead of time that there would be a meal served with the concert, so my natural assumption was that the concert would be performed then there would be a dinner served afterwards. As I soon learned, this was not the case at all. As soon as the first ensemble started performing they actually started serving us the food (which btw was delicious). I have never been a part of a concert where there was food being served while you listened to the bands play. My thought was that it would distract the audience from the performance of the students. But it didn’t and instead it amplified their performance. The other thing that made this evening so premier was the dedication that the community had to their band program. They were absolutely thrilled that I had written a song for their program and that it was named after their city! I probably spent 20 minutes getting congratulated and thanked after the concert, for doing what I did, and that it was fantastic. I have never received such a reception at a premier before, and it was probably the best reaction I’ve had to date on any of my works. The sense of pride in their city and their community that emanated from each person that talked to me, helped to drive in the point that this was a big deal to them and that I had done something good for their school and city. A big thank you to Ms. Jessica Nance! If she hadn’t asked me to write “Unionville March”, this would not have happened. The fact the she has gotten the program to the point where 5th graders are reading sheet music with non-unison parts, middle school band is reading mixed meter (including 5/4) and the high school is premiering a new work,  says a lot about her teaching ability. If this is what she can accomplish in the first year teaching there, I cannot wait to see where she takes it next! My only hope is that she gives me the opportunity to write for Putnam County again in the future!
Blog time!I come with up so many ideas and so many concepts that its sometimes hard for me to keep them all straight. I was once told by another composer that the best way to compose is to keep track of what you have done in your composition process and build on it. I have decided to start that! This blog marks the start of me documenting my composition process. With this, hopefully, people will get an idea of the process that goes through my head when I compose and the challenges I face. I want to mark part of this also a video blog that will have to be a feature for a later time (mainly waiting to actually buy a webcam to record). Another feature of this blog will be images and video from my computer screen that help to describe the situation that I am describing. The "official" blog will be released this week and I plan on doing at least one a week to make it a habbit. As one my college professors once said. "Guy, once you do something right, you gotta do it three times in a row in order to make it habbit and ensure a 'Concert Performance'!" - Dr. Woodruff.  
A new beginningFinally! After months of hard work and patience. I am proud to officially launch RLCOMPOSITIONS.COM. This website means a lot to me and represents a major mile stone in my composing career as it marks the beginning of my presence on the internet.   A big thanks to Ian Stanek. His hard work and patience with me through this process helped me realize that this website was a possibility. While we can officially launch, we are still not 100% up and running! I am still in the process of converting scores and the works lists are not 100% completed. The chamber works list will be posted once I finish compiling the list.   So please browse through the site! While there is not much up already, what has been put up should give you a glimpse into what is to come in the following weeks!   Yours in music,   Robert Langenfeld (ASCAP)   April 16th, 2012