Recital of Gratitude

Wow.

Simply wow.

I still am still processing the fact that my recital just happened – not only happened, but the fact that so many of my friends, family, and mentors came out to listen to what I had prepared. It’s absolutely crazy to think that an undergrad could get a wind ensemble of almost 40 music majors together and rehearse/conduct them in a piece that he himself wrote. I still can’t quite believe that I was able to pull it off.

I’m no newcomer to setting a high bar for myself, but what an ambitious undertaking that was. And after the recital went as smoothly as it did, I am absolutely overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude. I simply cannot express in words how thankful I am to so many people. I actually couldn’t go to sleep last night because of the blanket of feeling that comforted me, knowing that I have friends who support and care about me, parents who love me, and people who enjoy my work. I have never in my life felt such a tide of emotion – still high from the happiness of it all, so thankful, so glad.

A few people deserve some special thanks, so here they are:

First and foremost my parents, without whom I would not be able to attend this incredible institution of fine musicians. They flew all the way out from Ithaca to see my recital and set up the reception! I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their constant support.

To all of the players who played not only in the Landscapes ensemble but also in the Oboe Concerto – it was an honor and a privilege to work with you all. You guys are all amazing musicians and if someone told me musicians of this caliber would be playing my music just three years ago, I would not have believed them. I am so thankful that they were patient with my conducting as I learned on the podium, and thus I, in turn, was able to grow tremendously as a musician.

A million worlds of thanks to DaJuan B, who supported this crazy undertaking from the very beginning and taught me how to be a better conductor – without him I would not have been able to put the Landscapes ensemble together, nor rehearse them. Thank you for giving me the confidence to step onto that podium and believe that I could do this. You absolutely did not have to spend so much of your time and effort being at all the rehearsals, helping set up, and so much more, but you did anyway and it means the world to me.

Sarah K. – without you, the Oboe Concerto would not have happened. Thanks a million for putting together that ensemble. I probably would have lost my sanity if I had to put together both ensembles myself.

Thomas W. and Austin B. – We had a difficult time organizing the percussionists but you guys stepped up and put the section together, so thank you for that. Austin, thank you for helping prepare those parts and being so supportive!

Jasper I. – Thank you for championing my work! I’m so honored to have such a great oboist perform my concerto. You are such a positive delight to work with, and I hope to be able to again before I graduate.

John G. – Thanks for always keeping my mood up and for all those encouraging words. I was so glad to have you as a part of the ensemble and thanks for always being willing to help set!

Daniel C. for giving me many of the resources I need to put this recital together – thank you for being there, it means a lot that you would attend!

To all my brothers in Phi Mu Alpha that came out last night – you guys are all incredible peers that inspire me every day. It meant the world to me that you all supported my work.

Scott B. My friend and brother, who’s been there with me from day 1 of college… it is so fitting that you would be the cornerstone of my senior recital. It would have been a crime if I didn’t ask the one band geek that can match me for my wind ensemble geekdom to play for a wind ensemble piece I wrote. Without you, in so many ways, this piece would still just be an idea. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you’ve done for me.

And of course, all of my mentors along the way who have made me who I am today, especially my composition teacher Alex Mincek for supporting me in this undertaking even though he knew it would be an ambitious challenge, and my high school band director Nicki Zawel, who has always been an incredible inspiration in the world of music.

If you weren’t able to attend, you can find the recital recording below. Hope you enjoy!

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