I hope Scott McKenzie will forgive me for quoting his website on almost every important point here. He writes with a wonderful sense of humor. His bio:
Scott McKenzie is a composer, arranger, and conductor currently serving as a band officer in the United States Army. His oath and personal ethics stipulate that he can’t use his grade or position for personal gain, so that’s all he can say about that.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Virginia Tech and a Master of Music degree in composition from George Mason University, where he was a student of Dr. Glenn Smith and Mark Camphouse. He previously studied music education and conducting at Old Dominion University and the Peabody Conservatory. Prior to doing a crazy thing and enlisting in the Army, he taught band, chorus, and general music at the middle school level for four years. If you taught middle school general music for any length of time, you might not think joining the Army was that crazy, either.
His Fanfare for Enduring Freedom was a 2007 winner of Dallas Wind Symphony’s ‘Call for Fanfares,’ and most recently, A Summer Breeze was named winner of the 2012 Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest (even though it was composed almost entirely indoors).
Mr. McKenzie and his wife, Anne, have three children, Jimmy, Colleen, and Allie. They reside wherever the Army sends them.
As he mentioned above, A Summer Breeze won the Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest, so I will conduct the New York premieres of it with that group this summer. It is a short overture driven by a spritely 6/8 figure that McKenzie plays with throughout the piece: he spins it out into a dancing theme, then plays it against a more lyrical melody, reminiscent of the final movement of Holst’s Second Suite. Says McKenzie:
Composed for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band and premiered during the Independence Day and Change of Command concerts July 3,4, & 5, 2012 with the composer conducting
This piece was composed as a farewell gift to the TRADOC Band at the end of my two-year command. My goal was simple: to write a short, fun, energetic, tuneful work that an Independence Day audience would enjoy on a first hearing.
As of now, I’ve written two pieces inspired by the seasons. They are not necessarily intended to be performed together or as a suite, but if you think they’d work together in that fashion, knock yourself out. The other piece is A Winter Flurry.
McKenzie has a wonderful website and a Soundcloud page with recordings of some of his work. He was even kind enough to put up a rehearsal recording of A Summer Breeze! Furthermore, you can look at McKenzie’s description of it on his website (quoted above) and view the full score here. Finally, the Columbia Summer Winds played it at Central Park, and it sounded like this: