Concert Band Releases
Droid was written to introduce young musicians to the concept of program music. The protagonist of the story is a robot that has been engineered to feel emotions while having human-like traits. Students can clearly delineate sections and themes of the music and create a narrative from what they hear. Students can further explore the story line, prompted to author a more detailed version of such a story, that would present cross-curricular opportunities and meet literacy standards for education that are present at state and national levels.
Having an early Vision of success in any endeavor can make accomplishing goals possible! The practice of "Growth Mindset" is a trend in education that pushes students to have confidence in their ability to learn through positive thinking and proper work ethic. This concept has long been a successful path in the pursuit of music making as well. While rehearsing VISION, this idea should be communicated to young students. The introduction presents an uplifting and warm harmonic setting that represents the positive atmosphere that would be critical in most any pursuit. The bold opening melody and stately supporting rhythmic structures convey the importance of confidence and should be played with pride. The piece leaves the listener with a feeling of hope as the traded eighth note figures and powerful melodic phrases provide a VISION of teamwork and positive energy.
Bandworld Top 100
I have thoroughly enjoyed serving as the advisor of the Asian American Cultural Club at Whippany Park High School (Whippany, NJ) for many years. In this role I have witnessed students, passionate about their heritage, share cultural experiences (and food!) with members of the broader school community. On a field trip one year, we attended the Lunar New Year Firecracker Ceremony in NYC’s Chinatown. The crackling explosives coupled with great music and dance, inspired this piece. The repeated drum beat found here was played by musicians on Tanggu drums as they traveled from business to business wishing good fortune and prosperity in the new year. This is emulated in this selection with flexible numbers of percussionists who can call all join in on the fun. Meanwhile, wind players will love the opportunity to nimbly play soaring melodic lines over the invigorating rhythmic figures found throughout!
The art of sailing has propelled humanity for thousands of years. This form of harnessing wind to move ships throughout the seas has shaped our civilizations while also providing thrilling rides and experiences for those who continue to master “the point of sail.” The term Running Downwind refers to when the wind is coming from directly behind the boat and the sail catches the speed of the air. This selection inspires a similar sense of motion using a stimulating 3/4 feel. Tempo changes and transition material suggest a sailing journey while the melodies and countermelodies throughout communicate the joy and wonder of limitless exploration. This uplifting and catchy selection will create lasting images for players and audiences alike as they embark on a sailing journey for the ages. With magically lyrical melodies and lively rhythmic motives, Running Downwind is sure to add a festive splash of vibrant color to most any concert program!
While a journey to the sun may exceed the bounds of reality, this extraordinary expedition exists where music and fantasy meet. Inspired by a breathtaking Icelandic sculpture of the same name, Sun Voyager is a vessel to our dreams. A dramatic and powerful opening transitions to driving melodic interplay and exposed percussion sure to challenge ensembles at a variety of levels. This intense and powerful selection will inspire students to raise their game while allowing their imagination to run wild.
The Trident is the three-pronged spear of Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology. It is said that Poseidon, when angered, could use the object to wreak havoc by creating tsunamis, earthquakes and other disasters. In this selection, a powerful and haunting soundscape recreates this anger as a “three-pronged melody” acts as the mythological spear. A theme of “three” runs throughout the entire selection, beginning with a three note opening statement. In addition, the three main themes incorporate familiar melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic content creating a sense of cohesion. The theme of three is most evident in the section first heard at measure 25 where three strong themes occur simultaneously. Opportunities for discussion of compositional form and thematic recognition are available for students to explore in a selection that gives each section of the band a chance to play melodies while also being challenged rhythmically.
RWS Music Company 2021
Perhaps all human beings are damaged goods to one extent or another. Even those who seem to be strong on the surface have had experiences that chipped away at their soul or shattered their heart. Broken Pieces attempts to explore the fractured parts of ourselves. We may never be “whole” but sometimes our jagged edges fit with those of others. It’s through these bonds that we gain strength and find peace. The piece uses melodic fragments and percussion textures to symbolize this sense of brokenness. Early in the composition the melodies are only partially played by a soloist or section and are finished by others. LEGO pieces are used as a non-traditional "instrument" to symbolize the Broken Pieces. These should be swirled or rotated in hands or in soft container. When I hear this sound in my own home, I find comfort in knowing my children are near. It is this sense of comfort that I hope translates to the performing musicians and their listeners.
Alfred Music 2022
Bahumba is a nonsense word...but a no nonsense selection for Concert Band! This groove oriented selection in 5/4 gives the percussion section a chance to shine. While typically percussionists are asked to provide texture under featured melodic lines played by winds, this tune turns the band upside down!