Last night, I had the pleasure of leading the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Iota Chapter Choir and the Sigma Alpha Iota Beta Chapter Choir in my piece for SSAATTBB choir: Dusk. It’s not often that a student composer gets to have their full choir piece performed, nor is it often that they get to rehearse and conduct it, but both opportunities were gifted to me, thanks to the music director of Phi Mu Alpha and the conductor of Sigma Alpha Iota. The experience of being able to rehearse almost a hundred of my peers in something I created with all my heart and soul was an incredibly humbling and rewarding experience. With my conducting mentor, DaJuan Brooks, guiding me along the way, to say I learned a lot would be an understatement.
The special part about Dusk was that I wrote this piece towards the end of my senior year in high school, dedicating it to three of my close friends who have stuck through it with me no matter the hard times. They’ve seen me through thick and thin, all the way from the days of bonding during the stressful college application season, and we still keep in touch regularly. It was such an honor to be able to finally deliver the recording of the piece to them after all these years.
I want to give a huge thanks to Charles Schurman and Lauren Barmore, the music director of Phi Mu Alpha and the conductor of Sigma Alpha Iota for giving me this opportunity to (as cliche as it sounds) fulfill my dreams and to Angela Yang for making sure the recital ran smoothly! I’d also like to thank all of the brothers of Phi Mu Alpha and the sisters of SIgma Alpha Iota for devoting their time and energy in making this piece into a reality.
The feeling I got when I heard the piece sung by the full choir for the first time was a moment I’ll never forget for a very long time. The reason and emotions of why I wrote this piece and what it means to be all came rushing back – as I’ve said again and again, there’s nothing quite like hearing your own music sung or played by other musicians. It’s what keeps me coming back to the drawing board every week.