I have return from our southwest vacation, and now it is time to get back into my composing routine. As you have seen from my last post, I was still active revising Guatemaya according to Meggie Aube's suggestions. I'm pleased to report that she has said the revisions work.
I also spent some time while sitting outside in the sunny 60 degree desert weather working on a project I do every year for the York Symphony. The York Symphony has an annual song writing competition. There are three levels, elementary, middle school, and high school. The winners get to have their compositions scored for orchestra and performed on the April Young Person's Concert. That is where I come in. I get the privilege of orchestrating their pieces. Some of the pieces are for piano and others have some basic orchestration. This April's concert is Classical Kid's Vivaldi program, so the orchestra is limited to strings, 2 flutes, and 2 trumpets. But even with that limited orchestration, it is fun to give the kid's music a new setting. Besides hearing there piece performed, the winners receive cash prizes and a score and recording of their piece. It is a wonderful inspiration for young composers and the program has won recognition by the American Symphony Orchestra League. My challenge is to preserve what they wrote yet enhance it so that it sounds more professional. I did 5 of the six arrangements while in AZ and I am finishing the last one probably later today or tomorrow.
I have two composition projects for the spring, one for unaccompanied Eb clarinet in a jazz style, and the other a piece for saxophone and percussion. Both these works are a result of the Co-op Press Recording Grants and will be part of CDs featuring the artists who were awarded the grant.
I am also busy working out my schedule for two performances during February. One next Saturday, where the Lancaster-Lebanon H.S. Honors Orchestra is doing my "Gettysburg Portrait" with me narrating and the other for a Feb. 16th premiere by the Washington Sinfonietta of my "Legacy", which deals with the climate change issue. More about these later.
Last night, my wife and I played a concert with the York Symphony as we backed up Manhattan Transfer. What a thrill to work with these fine musicians! But putting a show together in one rehearsal is always stressful, so today is a day of rest!
Look for more regular posts now that I'm back from vacation and I'd love to hear from you as to whether you find any of this interesting.