2018 Q1 Review
Well, it's been awhile since this site has seen any written updates, as I've been spending what time I have updating media, events, and so on. So it seems appropriate, as we approach the end of March, to give a summary of the year so far, and what's been going on.
The Rouge River Winds are continuing to grow in their second year as a fully-independent organization, putting on another season of great concerts, growing their audience base, and pushing themselves to try more challenging repertoire. In February, they competed for the second year at the OBA Concert Band Festival, once again achieving a gold standard with their performance of Andrew Boysen, Jr.'s Three Folk Song Settings for Band and Percy Grainger's Shepherd's Hey. The panel of adjudicators also saw fit to present them with an "Overall Outstanding Performance" award and to select me for one of nine "Conducting Excellence" awards. Our full-length concert on March 4 was very well-attended and well-received. We are now hard at work on our season finale concert, entitled "Wind Dances", and featuring our two Solo Competition winners.
Winter and spring also means festival season, and I have had the pleasure of working with many ensembles so far this year as they prepare for their festival performances. Each session is wonderful opportunity for me to share my musical thoughts and also to learn from the different approaches taken by different ensembles and their directors. In the coming months, I'll be seeing and adjudicating many more ensembles at the TCDSB Festival and at MusicFest Canada.
Finally, I've recently had the chance to stretch out my new music muscles again, conducting two brand-new pieces in a concert presented by the Caution Tape Sound Collective and the Association for Canadian Women Composers. The differences and similarities between the new chamber music written by composer-presenters and the music being written for publication for the school band market are fascinating to me. I was also very excited to record two pieces by CMC affiliate composer Bekah Simms for the Centrediscs label, including the grungy Microlattice and her captivating new award-winning work Granitic, both of which I also premiered.
I'll try to keep the updates more regular from here on in. Happy spring, everyone!