I’m very excited to share the recording from the premiere performance of my trumpet septet, Thermal Whiplash, performed wonderfully by the Central Michigan University Trumpet Studio Septet earlier this year at the university’s annual Da Capo concert! More information about the piece available here.
After over a year of hashing out the details for this piece with Sam Gustavson, it feels like a dream come true to be officially starting work on my Sonata for Trumpet and Piano! I’ve been so grateful for and humbled by the support this project has received. In total, the consortium consists of 24 trumpet players across 9 states and 2 countries/continents!
As daunting as it can be to start writing a 15~ minute piece, I’m really looking forward to beginning this journey!
The recording for Shockwave, my new piece for reed quintet, is now up on Civitasolis Reed Quintet’s YouTube channel!! A huge thank you to the Civitasolis Quintet for their wonderful performance, and for picking my piece as one of the winners of their Call for Miniatures in the first place. I thoroughly enjoyed writing the piece back in April as a distraction from everything that was going on in the world and am thrilled to see that work come to life through this recording!
It was great to meet with Sam Gustavson to discuss the plan for our trumpet sonata consortium! For any trumpet players interested in being a part of the project, it is officially the last month to join (the deadline is August 31st).
We have decided that the piece is going to be about the Coronavirus, both on a global scale as well Sam’s personal experience working in a pharmacy during the pandemic and contracting the disease. Tentatively, the titles for the three movements of the sonata are going to be Chaos, Solitude, and Bloom.
Chaos will depict the sudden and extreme adjustments to the early stages of the virus, with schools and businesses shutting down, events being cancelled, and pretty much the whole world standing still and going into quarantine. The second movement, Solitude, will recount Sam’s experience with quarantining for two weeks after testing positive for the virus, but will also portray the general feeling of isolation and loneliness felt by many during this time. The final movement, entitled Bloom, will be an optimistic end to the piece, representing our society’s resilience as we more towards some level of normalcy (we’re not necessarily in this stage yet). Since these stages of coping with the virus didn’t always occur in a set order and often overlapped with one another, several motives and themes will recur throughout the three movement structure.
I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet up with Sam in person to establish a foundation and meaning for the sonata. I think it will be therapeutic to channel some of my thoughts and emotions from the past five months into this piece, and I hope those who work on and perform the piece will have a similar experience. I’m eager to start writing this piece soon!
As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Whitacre’s music, so it was a pleasure to write these arrangements and get to know the original pieces better through this context. I’ve received a lot of interest in these two arrangements over the years, so I was thrilled to learn that I could register the copyrights through SMP.
Here’s a gorgeous performance of October by the Western Michigan University Trombone Choir, under the direction of Dr. Steve Wolfinbarger.