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Eyes on the Prize

I couldn’t sleep last night…mainly because this dream is already too good. Everything happening right now is surreal and I couldn’t explain the feeling even if I wanted to. Since I am so bad at blogging (I’ll try to do better,) Here’s a recap:

October 2021 was the World premiere of Greenwood, Archer & Pine for Chamber Orchestra. It is a musical historic account of the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921. I was commissioned by the Oklahoma Chamber Symphony immediately after finishing Graduate School. The Premiere was a great success and the commissioning turned into a full-fledged residency after a second successful performance in February 2022. The work met the requirements for the American Prize in Music Composition, so I submitted it

I applied for a faculty opening at my alma mater between these two performances and was blessed to receive an offer to not only teach composition but also have ample time to keep creating my own.

September 2022 saw a World Premiere for a much larger work for my new ensemble titled the Undaunted Symphony. This was also met with rave reviews and everything took shape wonderfully. My residency is a “Top Priority” agreement, which allows me to work with others when my programming duties are done for each concert. Of the five concerts scheduled for the season, I was able to program four, with the second one getting a World Premiere a few days from this post.

On January 31st, the American Prize Semifinalists in the Orchestra division were announced… I didn’t think I advanced, so I didn't look until I was at the weekly Orchestra rehearsal.

My name was on the list...I'm officially a semifinalist.

This is the first time I made it out of the prelims. The feeling is electric and I don’t want to sleep. It’s also humbling because I know the feeling of missing the mark all too well. If I could spend the night composing everything on my mind, I would run on fumes with a smile on my face because this is what gets me out of bed in the morning.

This is more than a competition… This barely has to do with the prize (If I only made it this far, I would still be thrilled.) This everything to do with me connecting with someone whom I have never met and them enjoying what I have created. Don’t get me wrong, I love my people to death; however, it just hits differently when someone tells me how my music made them feel before telling me their name.

There are way too many people to thank for the ride of a lifetime, so I’ll just say that if you’re reading this, you’re one of them.

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