What an incredible journey it’s been following the Incendio Trio through their performances at this year’s Fischoff Competition!
I remember getting a message from Bryan Polacek last year, asking me to rearrange the tenor part of Liquid Metal to alto sax because he had a high school group looking to work on it. I think it took me longer to wish them luck and apologize for the piece’s difficulty than to actually transcribe the part! But in no time, Bryan sent me a video of the trio playing the piece. And playing it WELL.
Since then, it’s been so inspiring following Incendio and hearing several of their performances over the course of the year. I’m continuously impressed seeing what this ensemble can accomplish. It’s exciting to see all of their hard work and dedication pay off by receiving the Silver Medal in this year’s Fischoff Competition!!
(Oh, and if I haven’t mentioned this yet, Incendio will be performing at this year’s Midwest Clinic! You won’t want to miss this!)
Thank you Ian Sauco, Kenneth Fuchs, Greg Case, and the rest of the saxophone and composition departments for inviting me out to work with y’all. It was an honor to hear an amazing studio of musicians play so many of my pieces and have the opportunity to talk shop with some of the student composers and get to attend a few concerts featuring premieres of their works.
I truly appreciate how welcoming and accommodating everyone was throughout my visit. Let’s do this again sometime soon!
All too excited for the premiere of Breakneck tomorrow, performed by the Jackson Northwest Wind Ensemble!!
What’s particularly exciting about this concert is that my wife Jasmine Hass will be conducting the band through the performance (something I found out AFTER I wrote meter changes in the piece for every measure ). And not only that, but the WMU Wind Symphony will be in town performing at this concert as well!
I’m really looking forward to such a special and unique night of music tomorrow!! Thank you to Bryan Mangiavellano for organizing this concert and asking the Hasses to be a part of it in this way!
Well, now that the cat’s out of the bag, I suppose I should share that I’ll have two performances of my music at this year’s Midwest Clinic!!!
The Mountain Ridge HS Saxophone Quartet will be performing Polar Vortex on Wednesday at 1:30 and the Cedar Ridge HS Saxophone Choir will be performing Volcanic Ash on Thursday at 2:45 (different ridges, I assume ). I’m incredibly grateful to Aaron Vogel, Arminda M Velasquez, and all of these amazing high school students for choosing to program my works for this special occasion!
I’m sure I’ve told this story before, but one of my first inspirations to write for saxophone came from seeing the New Japan Saxophone Quartet perform at my first Midwest Clinic in 2013. I tweeted a very nerdy tweet about wanting to write a ton of music for sax quartet right after the performance and promptly started writing a humble piece called Snowfall when I got home, which later was expanded to a three movement suite called Polar Vortex (and then reduced back to a two movement piece).
It feels so fulfilling and like such a full circle moment to return to the conference 8 years later with both featured saxophone ensembles performing my music. I was already eager to attend Midwest this year after its cancellation last year, but this is an amazing cherry on top!
I can’t wait to leave the conference feeling inspired to write way too much for one particular instrument – who knows which one it’ll be this time??
And here it is! I’m very excited to share that the sax trio (STB) and quartet versions of Liquid Metal are now available through Murphy Music Press!!
It was an absolute pleasure to work with the talented musicians of Trio h3lios on this barnburner of a piece – I truly can’t thank them enough for asking me to write this work for them. Here is the UConn Saxophone Quartet’s brilliant performance of the piece!