Brian May says:

[in reference to my big band arrangement of 'Bohemian Rhapsody']

"Fascinating! Your description is perfect...it is the original form, but translated into an idiom that is very different.

I have heard hundreds of 'Bo Raps' by now, but none like this...the language is rich and daring, and sometimes quite abrasive to my ears (like Rock Music is, to many people!) - but it's entirely stimulating...you held my attention the whole track!! (this rare!!! ha ha!) Well done, and thanks..."

Brian May

Guitarist & Founding Member of Queen

Posted on March 17, 2015 and filed under Composer.

Bob Mintzer says:

[referring to sextet version of 'Catch Me if You Can!']

"Rick, Smokin! Great writing and blazing alto playing. I like everything about this one. Lots of variety in the writing. I particularly like the shout near the end where the piano trades with the horns. Really great."

Bob Mintzer

Composer, Saxophonist with the Yellowjackets (and many others!)

Professor of Jazz Studies—University of Southern California 

Posted on March 16, 2015 and filed under Composer, Saxophonist.

Bohemian rocks

"Rick's...take on Bohemian Rhapsody [is] one of the most original and interesting charts we have come across."

eJazzlines.com, the global source for jazz publications

Posted on March 15, 2015 .

New & Original

"I found your page, listened to your charts and fell in love!  New, original, hip, smartly orchestrated, groovy.  Simply awesome."

Scott Winship, MS/HS Band Director—Marblehead, MA

Posted on March 14, 2015 .

District Jazz feedback

amyjohnston.jpg

"Thanks again to you for inspiring our kids and pushing them past their comfort zones.  It was amazing watching my trombone player grow as a player and get excited about jazz.  It was exactly what I hoped would happen for him!"

Amy Johnston, Sayre (PA) High School Band Director (and Host of 2014 District 8 Jazz Festival)

Posted on March 13, 2015 .

about "Cityscapes" for Saxophone Quartet

bleedinggums.gif

"Your 'Cityscapes' is truly a marvel! It is a piece that plays easier than it sounds and has great substance. It lies very well for the instruments. The ensemble writing is superb - especially the a-t-b scoring after the soprano solo in the second movement. And Doug, our bari player, got a real charge out of his part.

I can hardly wait for your next quartet."

Bill Clarida

Lake Saxophone Quartet (FL) 

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under Teacher.

Note from a High School Student

"Hi! This is Katie, I was your bari sax in this years District Jazz's blue band [Johnstown, PA]. I wanted to tell you how amazing District Jazz [DJ] was this year. I wanted to tell you in person but I was too shy to do it. Anyway, DJ was honestly the best musical experience of my life,  I've never been so happy just to play, and I'm always happy to play. But, DJ was just...something else. Thank you so much! You were the funnest director I've ever had!  You taught us so much, I mean, I've never learned so much about music theory. I really want to go into the music field now...especially Jazz. I really want to be a good jazz musician. Thank you so much for the experience the last couple days. You really made it special. My family agrees, because I have yet to stop talking about it. Love, Katie. p.s. Rebecca says Hi! She was your third trumpet."

Katie W.
High School musician in Pennsylvania 

Posted on August 31, 2010 and filed under Teacher.

MS Jazz Band Commission

"The kids love playing and performing 'At Last', and people can't get enough of hearing it. The chart kicks butt."

Joel Choderoff
Director of Bands—Holicong (PA) Middle School 

Posted on August 31, 2010 and filed under Arranger.

MS Jazz Band Clinician

"I am writing on behalf of my middle school jazz band students to commend Rick Hirsch for his awesome work he did with us last Friday. Rick was able to educate, encourage, enlighten, and entertain the students. He had positive, pertinent comments for each child in the room. I would highly recommend him for a clinician for any age [student]."

Kim Lenaway
Band Director—Park Forest (PA) Middle School 

Posted on August 31, 2010 and filed under Teacher.

HS Jazz Band

"Hey, Rick. We took your 'Catch Me' to contest this past weekend. The chart got a lot of rave reviews from the judging panel. I'll definitely be going back to your site for next year's charts."

Kent Crawford
Director of Bands—Maquoketa (IA) High School 

Posted on August 31, 2010 and filed under Composer.