Thursday, June 25, 2009

Got My Music!

A shiny brown box from Alfred Publishing arrived on my doorstep yesterday: my "complimentary composer's copies" came! This is one of the exciting milestones in the publication process - after the writing, submitting, proofing, and recording, Alfred sends me a few copies of the printed music, all crisp and beautiful in its finely-finished glory. Thus ends the cycle that began two years ago when the ideas first sprang from my head onto a computer screen.

It's music - a performance art - so it really comes alive when it's being performed for an audience, but there's something uniquely gratifying about having the physical printed page in my hand. Plus, because they're in my hands, they're most likely in the hands of retailers. Even more gratifying than holding my music is seeing it on a store shelf.

The cycles overlap, of course, and I'm not only waiting to hear about Alfred's 2010 catalog, but I'm currently writing new music for consideration in the 2011 catalog.

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Music Update

I wrote last month about the importance of sending music with a broad range of styles and ability levels to publishers and mentioned that in order to do so, I needed add some beginner-level and advanced-level music to my portfolio. I'm happy to report that progress is underway. A few weeks ago I finished a Major-key piece for beginners that focuses on counting and subdividing beats and I'm now working on a major-key piece for advanced students that drills jete and spiccato bowing. The jete piece should be really fun and I can't wait to hear a whole orchestra bouncing their bows in unison.

On the "jete" piece (still untitled, of course) I have a little intro, the main theme, and I'm working on negotiating a key change into the second theme. It's still early and rough, but I have high hopes for this one.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Second Rejection

I got all my music back from FJH Music yesterday. Their String Editor wrote a nice note saying that she remembers my previous submissions and likes my titles, but there's no room for me in their catalog. Pretty much the same letter I always get. What's weird is that she wrote that they don't have a place for music "at this ability level" and I sent five pieces ranging from early beginner-level through high school-level music.

I might take a year off sending to them, but this won't discourage me from submitting more music. Even if their roster of composers is iron-clad, there must still be an opening at some point, right? Up next: I should hear from Alfred within the next few months.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Clarinet Sonata

I finished my Clarinet Sonata this weekend! After inundating myself with Benny Goodman songs, I got into the right mindset, started noodling around on my clarinet, and came up with a tune that I was happy with. From there, it was no problem to develop it into a nice 2.5-minute rondo. It's a little like the first movement, with a faster tempo and a more pronounced walking bass line, but I think it compliments the other two movements and matches them, stylistically.

Unlike the first two movements, I wrote a few of the riffs without the clarinet in hand, so I'll have to take a little time learning to play what I've written and maybe altering it a little to better fit under my hands. It should be a lot of fun getting this one together, though.

Friday, June 5, 2009

So You Think You Can Dance

Last summer, I wrote about my Olympic dream - to have a gymnast, skater, or synchronized swim team choose one of my pieces for their routine at the Olympics. Now that the summer TV season has started, I'll share my other dream - to have my music played on So You Think You Can Dance.

I love watching the first few weeks of this show, where the good and the diluted mingle in crowded hallways and take turns showing off for the judges. It's a panoply of dance styles, ability levels, and egos, and makes for some mesmerizing television. Most of the hopefuls choose their own music for this part of the show and I would just be thrilled and honored if someone were to choose one of my pieces for their audition. I think any of my Latin dances (Mambo Incognito, Las Mariposas Exoticas, Violet's Tango) would be appropriate for ballroom styles. Perhaps some of my more dramatic works (Gauntlet, Westward Motion, Agincourt) would work for modern dance styles and ballet.

This year's auditions are done and they usually use well-known songs for the voting segment of the show, but if you're thinking of auditioning for next season, please consider using one of my compositions - they're all available online at