A few weeks late with this post, but what a fantastic experience this was! Chris Takis and James Gross recently invited me to visit and hear their outstanding ensembles. Grosse Pointe South HS is one of several institutions this year who have invited me to participate in a mini-residency (programming several of my works with different ensembles), and I couldn't be more honored. The bands, under the baton of my friend and fellow MSU Spartan Marching Band alum Chris Takis programmed GRADIENTS, ALCATRAZ and they were part of the commissioning consortium for THE RAPTOR RIDES THE WHALE. I got to work for a bit with their percussionists and they were full of enthusiasm for the special effects. On the orchestra side, my friend James Gross programmed PRAYERS IN VILLEFRANCHE and it was just lovely. It was the first performance of the strings only arrangement of the work, and they did a beautiful job.
Aside from living the dream of composing music and hearing it performed well, the best part of wearing the composer hat is being able to re-connect with friends and colleagues, and make new connections in the process. Ensemble music brings people together in the best way, working together to bring a common vision to life. No competition, no ratings, simply the active, collaborative creation of new art with people who share a passion for music. Thanks Chris & James!