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Catching Up a Bit

Apologies to the many of you who subscribe to catch a review or thought or two. The month of May was just a bit too hectic here due to teaching schedule and performances. I've also started to wind down reviewing music overall to focus on my own work as we head into the summer. That and we are planning an extended vacation time to regroup and recover after a very full year.

The last part of April into May involved 4 concerts over the course of two-and-a-half weeks. The performances of my own work went quite well. The Toccata for Orchestra proved to be a fine showpiece and audience pleaser. But, If We But Move to Light, which was the last-minute substitution on that program, garnered the most compliments for its stunning simplicity. While the circumstances of its programming were unfortunate, it is a work that I had assumed would never get played. I did rework it slightly to bring it into an "easier" range so that should make it attractive for college orchestras to consider. That version should be up soon on JW Pepper along with the Toccata score too.

I was called in to sub for a performance of the Sibelius fifth symphony, which is a personal favorite. More interesting was the opportunity to also perform Jennifer Higdon's blue cathedral--a work I teach about in Music Appreciation courses all the time. While wrapping these concerts, I also began work for an upcoming performance of the Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet ballet! This is a quite amazing work with some excellent bassoon writing and challenges. It is also just fascinating to see the scoring and how parts are so intelligently written. That program is coming up June 17 and hopefully I can write up a bit more about that as we get closer.

So much music is now streaming only that reviewing such things seems sort of anticlimactic as anyone can just go to Spottify and listen themselves without someone telling them they should. More of it is about raising awareness for the releases themselves. It has to be quite difficult to try and get attention for things in the midst of this transition away from physical music delivery.

I will see what I can pop up here for the first part of June before we take the month off in July.


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