This past Fall and Winter were busy writing times for me. Three of the pieces I wrote during this time are being premiered this month. First I'll tell you a bit about each piece, then I'll offer a MIDI recording (Finale playback) in case you'd like a sneak-preview.
Thanks for the use of the hall. — written for the Mount Nittany Middle School Jazz Band, honoring the retirement of long-time director John Kovalchik. Man, writing good music for younger musicians is hard — but, fun! The only requirement was medium tempo swing. First performed last weekend at the Penn State University Jazz Festival. The recording below is the only one made by humans — sight-read on a gig by our local monthly big band, Zeropoint.
Mancini Digs That Mambo — written for the Line Mountain Jr/Sr High School Concert Band (see previous blog post). The only requirement was that there be an open section for improvisation. Sweet. First performance will be tonight, and I'll get to direct it. On the "recording," the solo section begins at about :50.
City in the Window — written for the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Band One. No requirements, other than "write something really good!" I labored over this one, and came up with something that departs a bit from my usual schtick. Perhaps this is why I found it so challenging. The "recording" below stops at the beginning of an improvised soprano solo (solo not played by Finale). Also, note that there are no drums on this "recording," though there is certainly a drum part in the score.
The premiere performance will be next Friday, April 22 at UNI. But, the real attraction at that concert is Kenny Wheeler. The UNI JB1 will be performing Wheeler's Sweet Time Suite in its entirety. Woo-hoo!