I wish to explain my absence from posting on this blog for over a month. My compositional efforts have been focused on arranging the song contest winners in the York Symphony Orchestra competition. There were five compositions awarded prizes and part of the prize is to have their composition arranged for orchestra and performed by the York Symphony. The winners range in age from 9 through 14 and I am astounded at the talent these young composers display.
I also worked with an organist on registration and reworking three of my chorale preludes to enter in a competition. Since the competition required anonymous entries, I cannot post my revisions, but I would like to share with you some of the things that I have learned that are not in any books and articles about writing for organ. Regarding writing for the pedals, it is easier for the organist to alternate feet than to slide the foot. Therefore I reworked my pedal part to alternate feet more often. I also tended to use the extreme low notes too often that had the organist constantly reaching to his left with his feet instead of playing toward the middle of the pedals most of the time. For the manuals, I reworked some of the voicing so that the organist’s fingers could glide from note to note instead of lifting the hand. Lastly, we rebalanced the registration in order to bring out the important lines.
I also took a two-week vacation to southern Georgia. When my wife and I arrived home, we decided that it was time to leave Pennsylvania and relocate in the sunny southwest. During the past two weeks, we have been readying our house for sale and making plans to relocate. Now that the house is listed, we are gradually going through our belongings and selling off or giving away many things and packing the rest. We hope that the house will sell quickly so that we can get on the road by mid-April. We plan to camp in our van until we find a place to relocate and then send for our belongings. We are looking forward to both the adventure and to being settled in a new place.
My next project is to compose a piece for euphonium and piano for a very talented high school student, John DelVento. I hope to work on it while waiting for the house to sell and during our travels. I will try to post more often during the transition period in our lives.