Molto Vivo!

From The Ex-Files Performance in Hartford, CT
It's been a whirlwind of an artistic year in Dallas this past season! In addition to becoming the Event Operations Manager for the Dallas Chamber Symphony and adjusting to a brand new city, I have been fortunate enough to start having an abundance of writing opportunities. 

With things taking off, it's been a busy few months, so here are some highlights from the past few months:

Guest Composer at the Women Composers Festival in Hartford, CT

In March I was contacted about an opportunity to have my music performed as part of the Women Composer's Festival in Hartford, CT. While I hadn't heard of the festival before, it was an exciting opportunity to try out The Ex-Files on an audience that had absolutely no idea who I was or what they were in for. The other performances I've given have always had friends and familiar parties in the audience, so getting a chance to gauge how new, non-invested audience members reacted to the piece was invaluable research as I continue working on the project. In just one rehearsal, percussionist Nathaniel Gworek and I put together the work, also testing the collaborative model the piece depends on to the extreme. The piece was received very well, and I was elated to see that the structures I've put in place for this project proved successful in this context.

From the performances of my works with DCS at the Gaylord
Texan Convention Center last month.
Working for and with the Dallas Chamber Symphony

While I was originally hired to manage front-of-house operations, I am now working as the event operations manager for DCS. They are a relatively new ensemble in Dallas - only six years old - but have grown exponentially since their first season. I am so proud to be working for such a well-run organization, and with people who have gone above-and-beyond the role of colleagues to help me become more established in Dallas as a composer, and also adjust to living in a large city for the first time!

I was recently brought on for a project, for example, in which I wrote "bumpers" (music between speakers, like at the Academy Awards) and a "loopable" awards processional piece (think 'Pomp and Circumstance' but for corporate awardees instead of high school graduates). The experience was not only a great excercise for my orchestral compositional and musical engineering muscles (the bumpers needed to be able to either fade out, end big, loop and fade, or loop and end big at a moment's notice!), but put my music directly in the faces of about 50 professional, DFW-based musicians. It was an amazing experience, and I am so grateful to DCS for giving me a chance to step back into the orchestra composing world, and further into the Dallas music world.

Composer-in-Residence with the New Mexico Contemporary Ensemble

Members of NMCE
At the end of June I will be traveling to Albuquerque, New Mexico for over a week of clinics, performances, and panel discussions as part of the 2nd Annual James Tenney Memorial Symposium. The performances will include an old work or two, but also at least 3 premieres! It's exciting to not only be a part of the Symposium in such a front-facing capacity, but to have my music brought to a brand new place in the country. The ensemble is a little unconventional - clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, saxophone, and trombone - so I've been enjoying the challenge of making these instruments work together. 

One of the pieces they're looking for is a "postcard piece" in which the work can be performed by any number of players of any type of instrument. I haven't really written one of these pieces since I was in undergrad, but after the engineering feat of lifetime with DCS, I am excited to see what I can come up with for this part of their program. They also have some exciting ideas for an electronics project for this summer - though I may end up putting that together on the drive there!

NEXT Music Consortium Commission

My work with the Libera Composers Association has made me more and more aware of the desperate need schools have for well-written, engaging music for their students. It's no surprise, then, that when a composer-colleague of mine contacted me this past spring to participate in their consortium for a flexible-instrumentation wind ensemble commission that I was only too happy to participate! There is a lot of interesting engineering for this project, also, in that the score will include optional staves based both on instrumentation availability and difficulty level. Writing basically three versions of the same piece on a single score is no small feat, and I can't wait to see what the other composers come up with for these schools!

Pittsburg State University Wind Ensemble Commission

Speaking of band, I also received a commission this past spring from a former IU conducting student, Andrew Chybowski, who conducts the Wind Ensemble at PSU in Kansas. We are putting together a new, substantial work for wind ensemble and voice to be premiered next spring and I could not be more excited at the opportunity to work with them! Andrew is such an open-minded, adventurous conductor, and I cannot wait to start working together to see what we can do to push both his ensemble and the concert band repertoire.

For those who were worried, Batposer
is still definitely a thing.
Upcoming Commissions (Shh!!)

I have a few other upcoming commissions that I can't speak to right now, but I am excited to say that while some of them will be Dallas-based (including a trio comprised of Dallas Opera musicians), I am in the beginning stages of setting up premieres in Tokyo as part of a group's tour there next spring. I'm hoping to add more and more Dallas-based commissions this season - I moved here to try and inspire a sort of "new-music renaissance" in a city where there are a lot of arts-hungry people and surprisingly little concert music activity, and I can't wait to see how these initiatives develop!

Here's hoping that I can - finally - be more consistent about updating the blog. One thing is for sure - there will be plenty to write about for the coming year!