I’ve just spent a packed and rewarding two days at CSU here in Fort Collins, Colorado, working with the Wind Ensemble (directed by Steve Moore) and the Symphonic Band (directed by Miller Asbill). The Symphonic Band performed MetaMarch and Rise, and I must say Rise is even harder than I’d thought – especially at the tempo and phrasing Miller took it (which I thought was *perfect* btw). Just as with all slow piece, the slower and more elongated the piece is, the more difficult it becomes. As I told the group, they just need to bring their extra sets of lungs – not sure they thought that was funny. They really rose to the occasion, though, and played very well.
The Wind Ensemble did Suite Dreams, and in fact closed with it, which is an interesting programming choice, considering that it ends so quietly. I thought it was incredibly effective, and the audience seemed to respond to it, too! They also did Gordon Jacob’s Concerto for Bassoon with Barrick Stees from the Cleveland Orchestra, and holy COW can that man play the Bassoon. It was extraordinary to hear.
Yesterday, I also make a side detour to work with Matt Arau and his group at Loveland HS, on THREE of my pieces – it was a fast and furious rehearsal, and lots of fun. The group was very, very good, and very large! I had a great time working with them as well – it’s always heartening to see such a fine and disciplined high school group.
Gotta head to Denver to catch my plane back home, and madly finish up this new piece for the JWECC consortium in Japan…