A 2018 Retrospective

Hard to believe another year has come and gone. 2018 was another great year for me. I thought it would be good idea to do a write-up of my 2018.

Personal life

My wife and I celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary this year. She is the reason I can keep doing what I do. She picks up the slack around the house whenever I get into crunch time (AKA drill writing season) and she continues to be my rock. So being able to celebrate our 5th anniversary in Mexico at the same resort we had our honeymoon was amazing.

We adopted another dog this Fall. My wife named him Thanos. He is a Welsh Pembroke Corgi and is about 4 months old at the time of writing. Our older dog, Garen, loves him to death and he’s been a great addition to our family!

New Music

In all I wrote 4 new pieces this year (around 35 minutes of music), it represents some of the best music I’ve written in a long time.

In early 2018 I wrote “Reflections”. This piece was a commission for Dr. Russ Coleman’s 90th birthday. The piece was premiered at the 50th annual Missouri Bandmaster Association by the Warrensburg Community Band. You can learn more about this special project here.

During the Spring/Summer I wrote my first commissioned original work for orchestra (not including my own wind band transcriptions) titled “Celestial Body”. The piece has some of the best music I think I’ve ever written and incorporates electronics into the piece as well. This piece is getting premiered February 2019 by the Peabody Modern Orchestra.

In September my new piece “Summit” (Symphonic Band Grade 4) was premiered by the University of Northern Colorado Wind Ensemble. It’s not often I get to write a piece on the side and keep it under wraps. I had started it as a side project for a composition contest but was unable to finish it in time to submit it. The piece is a wild mixed meter ride and will be out next year with Grand Mesa Music Publishers.

Finally, coming in at the buzzer,my new grade 2 piece “Excelsior!”. A superhero inspired piece that gets its title from the late Stan Lee. This will be premiered Summer 2019 by the Elkhorn Middle School Summer Band Program.

2018 Performances

2018 wasn’t all about new pieces, “Spark!” saw quite a few performances and “Curtain in the Sky” was officially put out for sale by Grand Mesa Music. From what I’ve been told both pieces are doing extremely well so I’m excited to hear more performances of them!

While I was writing “Reflections”, my “Concerto for Wind Ensemble” was premiered by the St. Louis Wind Symphony. It was subsequently performed again by the Peabody Conservatory Wind Ensemble in December. Both performances left my jaw on the floor and gave me the confidence that I could write large and complex works. I’m looking at potentially taking the 1st and 3rd movements of the piece and making them their own stand-alone works in the future (with additional content). That way high schools and smaller colleges can perform them.

Looking at 2019

I’m going into 2019 with a potential project on my plate then I want to start working on my remastered/re-imagined edition of my first Symphony. My goal is to not do a complete rewrite, but take the material I’ve been sneaking into my other pieces and actually put it in its original form. I want to have this project started with a committed group to premier it by the end of 2019 with a group to premier it late 2020.

We will be attending MMEA this January and for the first time, Arrianne and I will be attending Midwest next December! We are both very excited for it.

Summary

I’m really thankful to everyone who was involved with my music in 2018. You guys made my 2018 my best year yet. There were so many times I thought I wouldn’t make a deadline but I made them all thanks to Arrianne. I’m hoping to take the momentum I’ve built up in 2018 and keep it going.

Here’s to a great 2019!