Oh what a summer it was, with trips all over the place and conducting like crazy, not to mention the beginning stages of my doctoral thesis research on symphonies for winds. Also, this blog passed 100,000 all time hits on Sunday, August 10!
My first stop was the New York City area, where I re-connected with some of my great friends and worked with their bands. I started on May 27 in the Grand Street Campus High School with Jeff Ball and Jasmine Britt, whose wind ensemble was playing:
I also worked with their symphonic band, which was very jazzed about playing:
Sinfonia VI – Timothy Mahr
Among other things. I stuck around until that evening for the Brooklyn Wind Symphony rehearsal. They were preparing a concert of movie-themed music, but they had me in to conduct a recording session on Michael Markowski’s new grade 2 piece, The Cave You Fear.
That night, I arranged with Jennifer Schechter to visit her middle school in Queens. What a treat that was! They were working on an EXCELLENT arrangement of Edward Elgar’s Pomp and Circumstance for their graduation.
Later in the week on May 30, I traveled up to White Plains High School to work with my great friend Bill Tonissen and his students. They were preparing an end-of-year pops concert, with the music selected by the students:
Chicago – John Kander, arr. Victor Lopez
Music from The Incredibles – Michael Giacchino. arr. Jay Bocook
Night on Fire – John Mackey
Later in June, I traveled to two Texas schools for the first time to participate in their conducting workshops. First came the University of North Texas Conductors Collegium starting on June 9, featuring Eugene Corporon and Dennis Fisher as clinicians. I had the opportunity to conduct Dana Wilson’s Speak to Me in a concert, with three days of rehearsal preceding. I then went directly to the University of Texas Art of Band Conducting and Rehearsal Workshop, with clinicians Jerry Junkin, Richard Floyd, H. Robert Reynolds, Robert Carnahan, and Tony Marinello. This featured a variety of repertoire across the week:
Serenade in E-flat, op. 7 – Richard Strauss
Three Chorale Preludes – William Latham
In July I returned to New York to rejoin the Columbia Summer Winds and their conductors, Bill Tonissen and Sarah Quiroz, as a guest on two of their concerts: Thursday, July 24 at 5:30pm in Union Square Park, and Saturday, July 26 at 1pm in the Central Park Bandshell. These were part of a series of Americana concerts, featuring:
Sea of Fury – Jim Territo
Spoon River – Percy Grainger
Old Home Days – Charles Ives
Turkey in the Straw – Michael Markowski (featuring me as guest conductor)
Buckaroo Holiday – Aaron Copland, arr. Megan (featuring me as guest conductor)
Amidst all of this, I continued preparing for my role as a conducting TA at Arizona State University in the fall, which was set to include an appearance with the Wind Ensemble and my own recital with the Wind Orchestra, plus my continued research into symphonies for winds. All told, I was very busy for most of the summer!