I Zoomed with Mitch Evett and Josh Murphy... After nine months of COVID isolation, I admitted to them that I just wanted to create something bright and sparkly, something that would have a glossy Instagram glow. I also wanted to write something that the students would call a “bop.”
If you were like me, you had plans for 2020 that didn’t work out. First, it started with scattered stories about a novel coronavirus, then it arrived in pockets, then there were illusions of two-week interruptions, and then it was an eternal presence. But that’s the nature of a pandemic: it’s unimaginable until it’s a reality.
When I received a commission from the American Bandmasters Association I knew that I wanted to write a march. How do you not write one for an organization that John Philip Sousa belonged to? Besides who doesn’t love a good march? Their rhythmic drive and infectious melodies are irresistible. Even the word itself—“march”—is sharp and percussive ...
Son of a Gun is taken from the second chapter of Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight. In this scene, Major Marquis Warren, John Ruth, Daisy Domergue, and Chris Mannix (the new sheriff of Red Rock) are on their way to town. Major Marquis Warren does not like or trust Sheriff Mannix.
Think About It is a fun, groove-centric tune that takes its inspiration from early funk music of the 1960s and 1970s. Honestly I just wanted to write something y’all can bop to.
Since the students at Van Wert Middle School Bands are celebrating their 90th anniversary, I wanted to write them something that was not only celebratory but also motivating—my hope for these middle schoolers is for them to accomplish great things in high school and beyond.
I never saw snowfall as a child growing up in Southern California; it was more a phenomenon that I saw in cartoons or read in children’s books. I did, however, witness my first ash-fall when I was in elementary school.
Lichtweg/Lightway is a wind ensemble piece based on Keith Sonnier’s light installation in Connecting Level 03 in Terminal 1 at the Munich Airport. Bright fluorescent neon lights line the walls of a typical airport walkway to guide travelers to where they are going and help them cope with the stress of being in transit.
It is a great honor to write and dedicate a piece to the Bowling Green State University and their Wind Symphony. I write this in a spirit of friendly comradeship, for the cause we all have at heart. It is a piece written for the Heartland, but it is also written for America.
Last summer I read an article in the New York Times entitled “Texas Lawmakers Pass a Bill Allowing Guns at Colleges,” which stated that “students and faculty members at public and private universities in Texas could be allowed to carry concealed handguns into classrooms, dormitories, and other buildings….”
Last Stage to Red Rock is taken from the first chapter of Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight. In this scene, Major Marquis Warren, O.B. Jackson, John Ruth, Daisy Domergue, and the new sheriff of Red Rock ...
Oh, Kitty! how nice it would be if we could only get through into Looking-glass House! I'm sure it’s got, oh! such beautiful things in it! Let’s pretend there’s a way of getting through into it, somehow, Kitty. —Alice in Lewis Carol’s Through the Looking Glass
Motordom is my musical interpretation of artist Keith Sonnier’s light installation entitled “Motordom.” Shifting patterns of red and blue light, generated in neon and argon tubes, develop in horizontal bands all around the lobby of the Caltrans building. The tubes evoke taillights streaming down the freeway.