September 10, 2015 Admin

Where the time went

From the second week of July through last weekend, I have been traveling almost every week. This has been a crazy summer. It was a mix of family emergencies and fun vacations. Also included in there was a whole week I was out sick due to eczema (Same reason I’m home sick today). This wasn’t the summer I had intended. I feel like I lost some time that I need to make up for.

Here we are in September, rushing back into a full academic year. It’s raining and feeling more and more like fall. Fall in Chicago is wonderful. It’s a beautiful temperature with a good vibe to it. This fall is very booked with performances. In addition to the world premiere of “Three Pieces for Five Timpani” from the New American Timpani, there will be a premiere by Temporal Brass Quintet and a new orchestral work.

Lately I’ve spent a lot of time working on the timpani project. I will be guest lecturing at universities in Illinois, presenting on orchestration techniques with the timpani. Ed Harrison has done a terrific job on the timpani solos and will be premiering them on September 27, 2015 in Ganz Hall – Chicago, IL. The concert will be at 5:00pm and unfortunately I’ll be across the country in San Francisco. So go see the performance for me!

I will also be missing the performance of “Chicago Style” on November 13, 2015 by Kaytie Faries at Loyola University. I’ll be working with the Composer’s Committee at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio, TX. I’ve never been to San Antonio and I’m pretty excited to attend the conference and explore the town.

The New American Timpani project has been a treat to work on. Composing music for a world-class performer is really a dream come true. Ed’s understanding of the timpani and ability as a musician has made it easy to compose timpani solos. Timpani music isn’t everyone’s go-to easy listening. It’s difficult to compose something that is both melodic and rhythmically entertaining on timpani. As a composer, I decided to aim for a piece that was exciting to listen to – fun and engaging. I think that’s why I was really looking forward to this project. The timpani have always been one of my favorite instruments to play and they’re also some of the most difficult to compose for. The following is page 1 from the first solo. This movement feels like rock music. It’s loud, fast and the rhythm falls more towards the back-beat.

Solo 1_1

The other solos have similar use of center and normal timpani playing, but each has an individual style.

The percussion quartet will be premiered by my percussion quartet in April 2016. This will be a fun performance as the piece has a lot of choreography in it. In the meantime, I’m continuing to compose and book performances. If you’re looking for newer music of mine to listen to, head over to

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