For those of you who are attending school, or teaching, I hope you are having a nice summer break/nice time with summer classes… As for everyone else, I hope you are all well.

Well, ladies and gentleman, as of last month, I have graduated from Michigan State University with a master’s degree in Music Composition. It has truly been an honor that my six years in college were all well spent with some of the finest musicians one could find as well as the many opportunities and memories.

During my second year as a graduate student, I was able to première three new compositions: Piano, Test Drive, and Dialectics. Piano was the first song cycle I’ve composed using the text from Floyd Skloot, Patrick Phillips, and Dick Allen. Sung by Peter Boylan, under the direction of Philip Obado. Test Drive was the piece that won the Honors Competition during the spring semester of 2012, which had its premiere last February. Performed by Musique 21 also under the direction of Philip Obado. Last but certainly not least was Dialectics, an unaccompanied bassoon solo which was written in collaboration with Genevieve Beaulieu as part of MUS 881: Composition Seminar Symbiosis. All three compositions were performed at a level that I have not seen before in my work which I appreciate! Through every premiere/performance/collaboration, I not only learn a lot from what works and what does not work in my music, but I learn even more about my musicians/friends when working on the material. Though the following piece is not a première, The Two Siblings is the first original composition that had its first performance outside of MSU. It was performed at my brother’s saxophone recital in Stamps Auditorium at the University of Michigan campus. Please do not judge, for those of you who are from MSU and Ohio State.

I also had the opportunity to complete and defend my thesis Life Circle. Although I am thrilled with the overall result of the final product, the process was quite frustrating; more so than Fantonium and the Saxophone Concerto. Being that this post only pertains to a “brief” summary, I will only mention a concise statement of the process. This was the first composition that involved not only a real event, but also an event that was a huge contribution to my memories from the past. I will eventually write a post on Life Circle.

As for festivals, I was accepted to soundSCAPE, in Maccagno, Italy. As for the rest of the festivals, I was placed on the waiting list for the second consecutive year for Brevard, and I was denied by FUBIS, June in Buffalo, and Nebraska.

So now that I have graduated from college and I’m not going straight into doctoral school, what’s next?

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is not an easy one to explain. I am now in the process of applying for many jobs ranging from teaching at a community college, to possibly working with a large music publishing company as a music engraver/producer. I have not heard from anyone yet, but then again, something will come up. I am also more than willing to learn more skills as well.

I am also trying to form a new music ensemble as a way to not only give myself in outlet of my music but an extra opportunity for composers, conductors, and performers to work on something like Musique 21, Neo-Collective, or Alarm Will Sound. The current name of the proposed ensemble is After the Beep, taken from “Please leave a message after the beep…BEEP!!”

This is it for now. As I mentioned earlier, I will talk about Life Circle in the next post as well as my new projects: particularly Elements for clarinet (Sarah Manasreh) and percussion (Kelsey Tamayo).