I’ve just returned from East Lansing, MI, where I had a fantastic week. The performance of “Dusk” was really, really, good – it was the slowest I’ve heard, and the first time I think any conductor has trusted him- or herself to take it at the right tempo, including myself. Verena brought out an incredibly heartfelt performance from the band, and I’m extremely pleased with how the whole thing went! Here’s the obligatory post-concert pic with the conductor:
The next night, we were treated to a concert featuring several of composer Dana Wilson‘s pieces, including two sax quartets, a woodwind quintet, a wind band piece, and the premiere of his new concerto for bassoon and chamber winds. Some great stuff – I think his sax quartet “Howling at the Moon” was my immediate favorite. The band piece, “…the harder they fall” was a cute recasting of the story of David and Goliath with narrator, and I thought it worked really well. The integration of the narration and music was really tight (conductor Isaiah Odajima played no small part in that, as well). Dana also happens to be a really warm, friendly guy, and we had a good lunch cha ttogether earlier that day.
It was a fun week, and I enjoyed meeting Dr. Whitwell (in his final appearance as the director of bands at MSU), Dr. John Madden, Dr. Wesley Broadnax, and Isaiah Odajima, as well as the graduate conducting students – Jim, Tim, Gabe, Nate, and of course, Verena. Hope you all enjoy summer – I’m sure I’ll see you next year!
I must sleep now. I finished Alchemy for orchestra a few days ago, and finished doing the parts tonight. I need to compile/convert them into PDFs, and will deliver them tomorrow. WOOHOO!!!