Patrick Burns (b. 1969) is an American composer and music educator. He has written extensively for wind bands at all levels. He founded the Bloomfield Youth Band in New Jersey when he was 17, and continues to direct that group today. He teaches at Montclair State University and New Jersey City University. His compositions, which range from beginning band to professional level, have been performed on at least 3 continents. He has received commissions from around the country. He is much in demand as a guest conductor and clinician.
Burns offers his own program notes on Seize the Day! (Carpe Diem):
Seize the Day! (Carpe Diem) is a short, energetic work which was written in a ten-day period in January 2008. Commissioned as a concert opener by the Westlake High School (CA) Wind Ensemble for the group’s performance at Carnegie Hall, the piece musically symbolizes the opportunities which lie before us in our lives and the spirit with which we strive to realize our dreams. Each day presents a new chance for us to make the most of every moment with energy, passion, and optimism.
Patrick Burns main website. – includes a full biography and information on all of his music. You can also leave the website open as it automatically plays a random sampling of Burns’s music. He’s written a lot of it, and it’s all good! For our purposes, though, check out especially the “music” page, where you can download a free recording of Seize the Day! (Carpe Diem) in the grade 4 section.
Also check out Patrick Burns’s YouTube channel, which has performances of the great bulk of his music. Here, for instance, is Seize the Day! (Carpe Diem) as performed by the Cleveland Symphonic Winds. Heads up, it’s a TOUCH faster than the composer has asked for.
So where does this famous bit of Latin come from? Check it out here.