A few days ago, I had the pleasure of performing a piece of music I really enjoy as a part of the Atlas Quintet – a group composed of me and some very close friends. With so many other things going on in my college life, especially as a composer, I had forgotten what it feels like to be a performer. Looking back to the recent weeks of all the rehearsals, it’s good to be back at it again. I’ll miss playing with this group in the Spring!
This one’s a labor of love.
Oh, and Vienna Teng is one my great role models – she got a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Stanford, worked in the industry, then decided she wanted to do this for a living so she just up and did it! Incredible. I have so much respect for her.
The Northwestern University Symphonic Wind Ensemble is an ensemble of incredible caliber. This comes as no surprise to anyone at Northwestern who is familiar with the ensemble, but here’s basically what happened this past Wednesday:
During their regularly scheduled rehearsal, they rehearsed my new work for concert band, Chaos and Chorale, for about 10 minutes. Conducted by the wonderful graduate assistant Dominic Talanka, they touched some difficult spots and transitions. Then, we recorded the piece from top to bottom – that was the first time this piece was played from start to end. Ever. By anyone. And that’s the recording you can hear here. Go ahead, check it out – can you believe that recording is an ensemble that’s reading the piece for the first time? It sounds crazy, even still to me, who watched it happen right there. It just goes to show the caliber of the musicians in the ensemble.
I learned a lot of good things by having my piece played by SWE, as they are lovingly called in the Bienen school of music. It would not have been possible without my composition professor, Juan Campoverde, and Dr. Mallory Thompson, director of bands. Of course, a huge thank you to Dominic Talanka who rehearsed and conducted the piece. It was very clear from his preparation that he cared very much about the presentation of my work, and that means the world to me.
I think I’m hooked on this wind ensemble thing. Here’s to more pieces for wind ensembles and concert bands!