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  • February 9, 2011

    Spring Travel

    Inspired by Steve Bryant’s (and when am I not inspired by Steve Bryant?) recent travel itinerary blog entry, and also wanting to figure out for myself where the hell I’m going this spring, I just sat down with the calendar…

    In about three hours (I knew about this one without consulting the calendar), I head down to San Antonio for the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) annual convention, a gathering of 20,000 music educators, students, and their families.  Both 5A All-State bands are performing my music on Saturday (the 5A Symphonic Band is playing “Hymn to a Blue Hour” with Gary Green conducting, and the 5A Concert Band is playing “Asphalt Cocktail” with Kevin Sedatole conducting), and I’m excited for the performances, but even more so for the rehearsals.  The All-State bands in Texas are the best in the country (and TMEA always supports the participation of the composers whose music is performed by the bands), and the rehearsal process — watching a great collegiate-level conductor work with the best young musicians in the state to put together a challenging program in only two days — is exciting and terrifying and inspiring.  I’ll be at TMEA until Sunday morning.  When I’m not at rehearsals or roaming the exhibit floor, I’ll be at the Grand Hyatt bar.  I’ll be the short loud guy with the pointy boots.

    I’ll be home for two days before leaving on Wednesday, February 16, for the University of Florida, where Joseph Alessi is performing “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone” with the wind ensemble, conducted by David Waybright.  That concert is on Thursday the 17th.  They’re also making a studio recording of the piece. (Alessi’s original recording, for those who missed it, is now on iTunes.)

    The next morning after the concerto performance, I fly to the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, for their honor band weekend, including a performance of “Hymn to a Blue Hour” (conducted by Kevin Geraldi) on February 18, and the first studio recording of the piece on Sunday, February 20.  I fly home the next morning, February 21.

    February 25, I drive up to Dallas for a clinic on “Undertow” at Garland ISD.  My first UIL-related clinic of the season!

    February 28, it’s off to Oklahoma for two days at Piedmont High School, where they’re preparing for their premiere of my new “grade 3” piece, “Foundry.”  I can’t wait to finally hear that piece in person — and to see what instrument they’re using for the “clang.”

    From there, I go directly to the American Bandmasters Association convention in Norfolk, Virginia, where UNCG is performing “Hymn to a Blue Hour” once more, and Ithaca College is performing “Aurora Awakes” for the Ostwald ceremony.  I’ll be home from Virginia on March 4.

    March 8 is a quick trip over to Houston for a clinic at Willow Wood Junior High School, another consortium member for “Foundry.”  I’ll be home that same night, and then I don’t travel again until March 23-27, when I attend the CBDNA national convention in Seattle.  (Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, principal trombonist for the Seattle Symphony, will perform “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone” on Saturday afternoon at the conference.  I’m awfully excited about that.)

    The next week has two more high school clinics — Cedar Park High School here in Austin, then Spring Woods High School in Houston, plus a performance of “Hymn to a Blue Hour” with the UT Austin Wind Ensemble.

    The next week, I’ll be at UT Arlington for three days (Doug Stotter is conducting “Hymn to a Blue Hour,” “Asphalt Cocktail,” and “Kingfishers Catch Fire” – whew!), then it’s off to Sam Houston State for the next three days (as part of the regional NASA conference — that’s saxophones, not space travel – but are they really so different?).

    The next week, on April 13, I fly out to Michigan State, where Joe Lulloff is performing my Soprano Sax Concerto.  I’ll be at MSU until the morning of April 18, when I fly directly to Dallas to hear Joseph Alessi perform “Harvest: Concerto for Trombone” with the Baylor Wind Ensemble at the Eisemann Center.  That is going to be a hell of a performance, I’m sure — and based on the crowd Alessi drew here in Austin in September, I’m sure the much-smaller Eisemann Center will be SRO.

    And then the travel is done!  Not another thing until late June.  That means I will finally be able to write this again-delayed Percussion Concertino that is next on the docket.

    See y’all this spring!

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