One of the greatest privileges of being a composer is being able to write music for people I know. During the process of writing the concert, instead of just picturing sounds as I wrote the music, I also pictured the people I was writing for.
Having been a part of the Grace Baptist Orchestra family for several years now, I had the opportunity to get to know the other members of the orchestra and learn what they enjoyed playing and the things that they didn’t.
It made it so much more meaningful as I wrote solos or melodic passages to try to write lines that I knew that those particular people would enjoy – and so much more exciting when they nailed those passages!
One of the most special moments during the concert was hearing The Awakeningbeing played again. This piece is especially meaningful to me as it was the first song I ever wrote on paper now almost six years ago. Tenor James Phillipps, who had originally recorded the piece with the orchestra, came back six years later to perform the piece during the concert.
This song still remains one of my most famous pieces as it really was the piece that helped me decide that I could actually be a composer (I was going to be a kindergarten teacher!) James did a fabulous job with the solo and the song really took on a life of its own!
Here’s the original recording from six years ago.
I’m still amazed at what an amazing journey this has been and thankful for everyone who has taken part in making it all possible.
One of the reasons these two concerts were possible was because of the tireless efforts of Jeff Boltinghouse – a member of the orchestra and one of my mentors in music.
A few months ago, I realized that I was quickly running out of time and would not be able to finish writing, typesetting, printing, and laying out all of the parts for the orchestra in time for them to practice. Jeff stepped up and volunteered countless hours to typsetting (creating parts and scores for each musicion) over half of the pieces in the concert. He even helped with some re-orchestrating on The Awakening and Jesus Loves Me and did a remarkable job keeping it exactly how I would have done it.
I am so thankful to have been surrounded by such amazing people as Jeff, Lisa, Taylor, and others who have given up countless hours to invest in me and my music. I cannot begin to thank them for what they have done!
Fun fact: Many people have approached me recently about how much they enjoyed the song that the prince sings during The Light Princess. But did you know that the lyrics of that song were actually written by George MacDonald?
In his book The Light Princess, author George MacDonald wrote out the lyrics for the song he wanted the prince to sing. In order to preserve the story as much as possible, I took his lyrics and set them to music. For the world premiere, this was performed by soloist Richard Dinsmoor and the tune became the main theme of The Light Princess.
If you were not able to make the World Premiere (Or would like to hear some of the works again), please come to my senior recital this Friday on March 6! There, you will hear The Light Princess, Taking Candy, and five other brand new works that were not at the world premiere.
Here are a few more pictures from the concert. Enjoy!
By the way, if you missed seeing The Light Princess or would like to see it again, please come to my senior recital at The Master’s College Music Departmentthis Friday at 6:00pm. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Last night was truly a magical evening as I was able to see a concert that was four years in the making become a reality!
I have a favor to ask of those who came to the concert: As you can imagine, these tunes have been in my head for four years and we have been rehearsing them for months, so I have no idea what it was like for someone to experience the music for the first time.
I would love to hear from you regarding what your impression was of the concert and your experience! Please share your comments below or feel free to email me.
Just finished a several hour dress rehearsal with the GBC orchestra and the choir! It was so much fun to finally see everything come together – especially with the tech team in there! I especially appreciated Lisa Hernacki’s guidance and leadership as she kept us on track.
Here’s a bird’s eye view of what the concert will look like:
Every wonder what is going on behind the scenes? We have an amazing tech team helping out with this concert! Here’s a peek into the control room during The Light Princess runthrough.
By far, the most swinging and eclectic piece of the concert is Taking Candy from a Baby. While the title itself may give some pause, the story behind this piece is just as crazy!
I had been given an assignment to come up with a trio for Cello, Horn, and Oboe in the Lydian mode. In true college student fashion, I waited until the last the night before it was due to begin working on it. By 2:00am I was stumped, but kept having this melody running through my head. In my mind, I pictured a funny cartoon of a thief stealing candy from a baby only to be nabbed by the police after a crazy chase —and thus the song was born.
The song waited until this past semester before I had a chance to work on it. I had just been introduced to the world of Jazz music (which I fell in love with) and decided to incorporate many styles including Rag Time, Brazilian Samba, Boogie Woogie, Cool Jazz, Nursery Rhyme, and Fugue.
I hope you will enjoy this fun piece written in true Looney Tunes style!