It's always nice to receive feedback from folks who play the music I write. Especially when it's like this kind note I just received from Arleen Wong, an instrumental music teacher in Pleasant Hill, California:
Hi Rick! The Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy Sax Quintet can NOT Thank You enough for the AWESOME arrangement of "Let My People Go". The guys are having a blast in rehearsal!
Please let me know when you write more arrangements. The guys said that "Mr. Hirsch should be our personal composer." Wow!
Here's the backstory:
Arleen's students have performed my Silent Night arrangement for saxophone quartet. On Monday this week (three days ago), she sent me a note asking if I had any arrangements of Negro Spirituals that her students could perform at an upcoming African-American History Month event.
I didn't, but—in all honesty—I was looking for an excuse to write something on assignment, as I've been mired in the biz end of publishing for the past several weeks. So, I asked her if she'd like me to write something for her by the end of the week. She was game, so I sat down Tuesday and cranked it out. Then, amusingly, I got a nice note from her the next morning to tell me that OOOPS, her student group is a QUINtet, not a QUARtet, as I had originally scored the arrangement.
I did a quickie adaptation and got the freshly minted quintet treatment in her hands yesterday. Ta-DAH! I can't always crank out music so readily, but somehow I managed to flip the switch and make it happen.
And, the lesson for all you band directors and band leaders out there looking for an arrangement of such-and-such a tune: you never know until you ask.
Try me some time. :-)