I am pleased that my 2014 composition "Bantu" has been selected as one of five winners in the Third Annual Sul Ross State University Wind Ensemble Composition Competition. There were over 80 entries from 30 states and 15 countries. The composition will be premiered on October 9 by the Sul Ross State University Wind Ensemble in Alpine, Texas and after the concert, one of the five compositions will be selected as the grand prize winner.
I don't enter a lot of competitions these days for several reasons. One is that many of them have an age limit or stipulate that the composer should be in the early stages of his or her career. Secondly, many competitions are looking for works that are in a more modern style. I prefer to write in a style where melody and tonality are still important. This does not mean my music is a throwback. I just achieve my modernity in other ways. Lastly, many competitions want works written that have never been performed. Most often that means that one needs to compose a piece specifically for the competition and I rarely have time for that.
With the Sul Ross competition, I felt that my style was a good match for their requirements and decided to compose a piece specifically for the competition. I am pleased that my time and effort was rewarded and I am looking forward to my visit to work with the wind ensemble and to hear the premiere.