So far this summer has been filled with a lot of events as well as vacations and work.

I am excited to say that I finally got feedback from a euphonium artist after one year of handing the solo to many professional euphonium artists at ITEC 2010 in Tucson, AZ. Gretchen Renshaw, masters performance major from University of Arkansas, was the first person to send me feedback! I hope to send her a few more pieces and eventually work on collaborations.

I’m also excited about a new project that I’ve been investigating in. For the first time, I have been asked to arrange the Blades of Toldeo for Trombone Trio and orchestra for the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. There is one problem however…the piece was copyrighted in 1979. The JSO and I will have to look into the copyright laws in order to successfully perform this piece as well as making money. Let me give a brief explaination about the copyright laws (it’s a HUGE subject).

Whenever someone completes a composition, book, movie, art, then you can copyright your work. Once that work is copyrighted, you CAN NOT arrange the work until the death of the composer plus 75 years. That’s a long time to wait, but don’t worry there is a way to arrange a piece much sooner. According to the MPA (Music Publishers Association), you must contact the publisher of the piece for permission to use that piece by filling out a sheet called Request for Permission to Arrange. Then you play the waiting game for their approval and then once they approve, then you can arrange.

Unfortunately, many musicians are not aware of these laws and serious consequences will rise if one arranges or performs without permission. For example, on April 14th, 2010, the Sparta Winds woodwind quintet performed a recital of new works by Phillip Sink, Evan Bushman, and myself. After they perform our pieces, they did an encore of either Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance or Pokerface (I don’t recall). Technically, they could have been in trouble for arranging a recent song into a woodwind quintet set up, but they did not. The consequences usually results in a fine between $1,000 to $100,000 depending on the severity of the violation.

If you would like to know more about how the copyrights laws function, click on this link: MPA Copyright Resource Center

After a week and 3 days, based on 6 votes, the sax/euph duet seems to be the most interesting of the many options that were available. If this piece was not interesting to you in any way, please do not complain, because even though this idea had the highest votes, I will write pieces for the other forms of media. Promise!

After having a successful 2010-2011 season under Dr. Ken Kroesche, Associate Professor of Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba at Oakland University in Rochester, the Capital City Brass Band will be performing a number of concerts during the summer part of the season. This season was very special for all the members of the CCBB for many reasons. Many of the concerts that were performed were shared with other local ensembles such as the Mid-Michigan Youth Orchestra. In addition, the CCBB made a few milestones during the season, for instance, the CCBB was one of the few bands to be selected to perform in the ACB Convention at Muskegon, as well as competiting for the first time in NABBA (North American Brass Band Association) and winning the 3rd section and celebrating the CCBB’s 10th year anniversary concert at East Lansing High School.

Recently, Dr. Kroesche has officially announced to the members of the CCBB as of Sunday June 5th, that after 4 seasons with the brass band, he will step down from the position of director of the CCBB. This decision was made due to three key reasons: 1. Considering that Dr. Kroesche lives within the Rochester area, it takes about 7-8 hours of his Sunday to drive back and forth for CCBB rehearsals. 2. He is worried about his oldest daughter. At the age of 13, his daughter is at the age where family bonding is quite essential and if he continued to be very busy with TWO OTHER brass bands (Oakland University BB, and Oakland Brass Band) there would be a sense of separation between him and his kids. 3. For some reason I was not able to understand the third, but it had something to do with problems about his religion.

What does the future hold for the 2011 NABBA Champs of Section 3?

Well, at the moment, Dr. Kroesche will be conducting the rest of the summer. After the season’s over, there will be immediate action for forming a committee that will decide the CCBB’s new director.

If I can make a few requests for the committee/board/group that is looking for this person (you don’t HAVE to take these for consideration but it’s a thought): I would like to find someone who has the same motivation, determination, and confidence that Dr. Kroesche had if not similar. I would also like this person to be more open to pushing ensembles potential to become a brass band that is capable of being MUCH MORE than just a local group. Lastly, I would like this person to be open with performing and collaborating with newer music; music by young composers. I can go on and on about the performance of new compositions in any ensemble, but I will save that for another time.

I may have been a part of the band for 4 seasons as a euphonium/baritone sub, but during those 4 years, I have had an amazing experience performing with a group that is not like any other and I would like to see what the future holds for this group as everyone in the band does as well.

Thank you, Dr. Kroesche for all of your long dedicated time for making the CCBB the way it is now.

As of yesterday, I have finished the Concert Etudes I for solo piano. Currently, I am working on the second movement of a woodwind trio consisting of flute, clarinet, and cello.

While working on the trio and the orchestration for the Saxophone Concerto, I am having a hard time deciding my next project. I have a few ideas, but I don’t know which type of medium I should write for first. Here are the ideas:

Voice and piano (preferably mezzo-soprano, alto, or baritone voice).

British Brass Band

Brass Quintet

duet for saxophone and euphonium

unaccompanied solo for clarinet

small chamber ensemble (instruments TBA)

The poll is below this post with these choices. I’m planning to choose the leading pick on June 4th, so this will give you 7 days to decide what is best. Please feel free to give me ideas and I will be more than happy to add them to the poll.

Have a great weekend!

As some of you may have known, I had a recital on Friday night and I must say, I was very satisfied with the performances that were presented; especially the Concerto for Saxophone!

Unfortunately, I was not able to setup the webcam properly, because the laptop I used was not properly registered to MSU’s network. So what I was able to do was to have the second half of my recital video recorded. Don’t worry. I have the whole recital recorded, but I don’t have the CD with me at the moment.

So for now, check out the Concerto for Saxophone (all three movements), and Fantonium on youtube

Enjoy!

Concerto for Saxophone: Trial and Error

Concerto for Saxophone: Research; Realization

Fantonium

Well, it has been over 1.5 months since my last post and I must say a lot has happened since.

Where to start? Oh yeah!

Well, I have managed to find 17 musicians, including myself, who will be performing in my capstone recital on April 15th at 8pm. The only problem is that I am having a difficult time finding a violinist. I had two violins, then both of them could not perform, found one, but no luck on the second violin. It will work out eventually. Meanwhile, I have been finalizing my rehearsal plans for the recital, and so far it is looking great.

A couple weeks ago, I found out that I have been accepted to Michigan State University for my Masters in Music Composition! Now I know that I will be going to graduate school. As for The Ohio State University, I STILL have not heard from them which concerns me, but I’m not worried.

Now for the composition part of this blog, what am I doing?

Well, I have been working on a set of Concert Etudes for piano: six etudes. I am currently working on the fourth movement of six, as well as editing the first three movements. In addition, I started working on an unaccompanied solo for euphonium. The idea of writing a piece such as this for euphonium came from the influence I took from John Stevens, Soliloquies.

ONE MORE THING!!

Two days ago, I received an email from Dr. Hutcheson regarding the results for the Honors Competition for Composers at MSU. I am happy to say that I was the runner-up in the orchestra portion of the competition! The best part of the competition was the judge. The judge was none other than the amazing David Maslanka! The email contained many comments from Maslanka. Even though my piece was not the most dominate piece in the competition, the fact that David Maslanka was the judge of this competition was a win for me and everyone else who competed in the competition.

Of all the semesters of MSU I’ve had, I would say by far this semester is the most adjustable (credit wise). But to be honest, this semester will easily be the most busiest one of them all.

This semester, I have a capstone experience recital on April 15th at Michigan State University. For those of you who are not aware of capstone experiences, it’s a fancy title for a senior composition recital. Currently, I have enough musicians to perform five of my compositions. I’m still looking for one oboe and two violins. What is very special about this recital, besides the fact that the music is exclusively by yours truly, is the premiere of my Concerto for Saxophone. I find this Concerto to be one of my favorite concertos, since it’s focus does not apply to pushing the performer’s abilities as a soloist, but rather, tells a “musical” story behind it. In addition, my brother Eddie, is the soloist, and from past experience with trios, duets, and rehearsals at Wind Symphony, he is the definition of determination. He’s always more than willing to experiment with new ideas, and new music; he never hesitates a challenge.

As far as euphonium, I advanced to the MSU Honors Concerto Finals. Unfortunately, I did not win as the performing soloist, however, I was very content with my performance. In addition, I am planning to have euphonium recital sometime in late March/early April. Further info soon.