I’m home and recovering from my ninth Midwest (and the fifth year in a row BCM has had a booth). Had a great time, as always. On Wednesday, I ran into my old mentor and first composition teacher, Francis McBeth, at the Southern Music booth:
Always great to see he and his wife Mary – they’re two of the most fantastic people on this planet.
The next night was the Atlanta Youth Wind Symphony‘s concert, under the direction of Scott Stewart. They opened the program with Icarus by Richard Prior which was a pretty smokin’ piece – they put some hair on the climactic chords toward the end of the piece, and I though it came off really well. The end of the program saw my own Dusk, and John Mackey’s Sasparilla. They did a pretty bang up job on my piece – the only thing I would’ve changed was the tempo – it’s an easy piece to rush, and I think the adrenaline pushed the tempo up a bit too much, but otherwise a solid performance. The climax could’ve also been louder, but I think that’s the venue’s fault – hotel ballrooms are about the worst space for this sort of thing. Instead of ranting, I’ll point you Jim Bonney’s sublime achievement in this category. Mackey pegged the style meter to the opposite extreme, and closed the night out with some raucous Old West Saloon atmosphere – even without the accordion, I thought the piece was over-the-top-hilarious.
You can watch Dusk and Icarus on the Midwest Clinic website – check it out.
Kudos to Scott Stewart and the band for a successful concert and trip to Chicago – I hope you all had a great time!
Here I am with Scott after the concert:
And of course, the band:
Friday brought the final day of the exhibit booth action, and I finally got to meet the man crazy enough to premiere RedLine for Wind Ensemble, John Pastin:
Their premiere on December 1st was essentially a dry run for the CBDNA Eastern Division Conference performance at Montclair State University in New Jersey next March. I haven’t heard the piece yet – hope to have a copy of the recording soon…
There was much, much more going on at this week, some of it will show up on the BCM blog in the near future. Hopefully the rest will never show up anywhere… 🙂