Category Archives: Art Music

#4 (piano miniature)

In the past few years, I’ve played through almost all of Scott Joplin’s piano music. His music is intelligent, full of life, and simply fun. I wish I was more of a pianist, because I really don’t do his compositions … Continue reading

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#3 (piano miniature)

This third piano miniature is–not surprisingly–in 3/4 time. It reminds me a bit of Erik Satie’s whimsical compositions. While the meter is the “straight man,” remaining in an elegant waltz tempo, the harmonies never seem to land quite where you … Continue reading

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#2 (piano miniatures)

I was telling my son tonight that I feel like I’m working out my harmonic demons. Perhaps “demons” is too strong, but I do feel that I’ve been exploring a particular harmonic palette in depth lately. It’s not clear to … Continue reading

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#1 (piano miniatures)

I often take part in FAWM–February Album Writing Month–as a way of keeping the creative juices flowing. The FAWM challenge is to write 14 songs in 28 days. This year I plan to compose 14 “piano miniatures.” (I’ll think of … Continue reading

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Blessed Be!

It’s hard to believe that this piece is 23 years old! This setting of the song of Zechariah (Luke 1:67-79) was written when I lived in Pittsburgh and is performed here by the Duquesne University Choir under the direction of … Continue reading

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Crepuscular Ray

And the final sketch that lost to “Swampzilla”?: It’s called “Crepuscular Ray,” and is something of a minimalist piece for young players. The music sounded to me like shafts of light coming through the clouds at sunset. It turns out … Continue reading

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Amber Waves

I mentioned previously that the Rockford orchestras read through three sketches before choosing “Swampzilla.” You’re probably wondering which sketches lost to “Swampzilla” in the initial round of voting, right? Wonder no more! “Amber Waves” is a sprightly, festive piece that … Continue reading

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Swampzilla at Rockford High School/Middle School

I had the great pleasure of composing a new piece for the Rockford School orchestras this spring. Directors Erin De Young and Allison Holden wanted a piece that would work for their combined orchestras: 6th grade through 10th. That’s a … Continue reading

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A Million Miles Away

I had the good fortune of receiving two commissions from school orchestras last year. “A Million Miles Away” was written for the St. Cecilia Concert Orchestra with Patricia Wunder conducting. As Maestra Wunder and I began brainstorming about what type … Continue reading

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“Savior of the Nations Come” at Baylor University

Here is the recording of “Savior of the Nations, Come” performed at Baylor University’s 2017 Lessons and Carols service. I wish I could have been there in person. It sounds beautiful. You can read about how the piece came to … Continue reading

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