Tonight’s the Night!

Hi Everyone!  Please come to my Senior Recital tonight at The Master’s College at 6:00pm!  You will hear a wide variety of music from small ensemble to big band to The Light Princess.  Admission is free, but I would recommend coming early as seats are first come first served.

Thanks and I can’t wait to see you there!

Senior Recital AnnouncementP.S. If you can’t make the concert, the link to the live stream of the concert is here.

Senior Recital!

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.

I hope to see you there!

Senior Recital Announcement

A Story Behind the Story

Everyone loves a good, captivating story.  Seldom, though, do we ever stop to consider that each tale has a story behind the story.  Why did the author choose to write it that way?  What were his inspirations or motivations?

In light of the coming live world premiere of The Light Princess on February 27 and again on March 6, I wanted to take a moment to share with you two behind the scenes stories:  the story behind The Light Princess and the story behind why I wanted to set this magnificent work to music.

I very much appreciate my friend Abigail Beck’s expertise in helping me put this short video together.  I have so enjoyed working on this piece and I can’t wait to share it with you all!

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Save the Date!!!



I am so very excited to be able to share the premier of The Light Princess and other works in a family themed gospel concert performed live by the Grace Baptist Praise Orchestra!  The concert is entitled “T3:  Tunes, Tales, and Truths” and the theme of the concert is “stories in music.” It will be at 7:30p.m. on Friday, February 27 at Grace Baptist Church.

I am also exited to announce that my Senior Composition Recital will be held at The Master’s College on Friday, March 6 at 6:oo p.m.  This will be in partial fullfilment of my composition degree and will be an exciting night!  The Light Princess will again be performed (although in a different way from the T3 concert) as well as all new music.

Keep checking back for more details as I post about the concerts.  I look forward to seeing you all there!

The Awakening

Here’s a blast from the past.  This song is the very first song I ever put to paper and was the song that won me a composition scholarship to attend The Master’s College.  The Awakening is based on Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows – one of my favorites growing up.

Amy with James discussing vocals

Amy with James discussing vocals

The entire song was actually inspired by one short sentence in the book when the character Mole pops his head up above ground and sees the world for the very first time.  I was captivated by the idea of what it might be like to see every day things like the flowers and the trees for the first time and how magical that would be.  Originally, this song was entitled Mole Discovers the Wide World, but was later changed to The Awakening.

The recording you are listening to is by the Grace Baptist Symphony Praise Orchestra under the direction of conductor Lisa Hernacki.  The recording was done by Scott Weber and the tenor voice you hear is James Phillipps.

The Awakening was quite a journey for me and was, in a sense, the first time I felt that my eyes were really opened to the world of

A Visit from Dan Forrest

Amy presenting The Light Princess to Dr. Dan Forrest

Amy presenting The Light Princess to Dr. Dan Forrest

As I shared in a previous post, renowned composer Dan Forrest visited the college this weekend as a guest speaker.  It was quite a whirlwind of a weekend, but we all had a wonderful time as Dr. Forrest spoke in several of the music classes, met individually with the composition students for a private lesson, gave a public practicum session, and performed in a concert of that works last night.

I was able to present to Dr. Forrest my current work on The Light Princess in both a private lesson and in front of an audience where he gave suggestions and advice on how to improve my piece.  I presented two movements from The Light Princess using the Garritan Sounds through Finale playback that I had tweaked to sound much better.  For the tenor solo that the prince sings in the story, I asked Richard Dinsmoor to play the part of the prince.

Richard Dinsmoor singing the part of the Prince in The Light Princess

Richard Dinsmoor singing the part of the Prince in The Light Princess

Dr. Forrest had several great suggestions, but I think my biggest takeaway from the meeting was that I need to work hard to notate the music exactly as I want the players to perform it and not leave as much up to their interpretation.  Secondly, I learned that I need to find the right balance between words and music in order to tell the story the best way possible.

I am very thankful to Dr. Forrest for his kind words and advice.  It was a pleasure to meet him again and I look forward to his next visit!

Critique and Sneak Peek

Music Notes BackgroundI’m so excited!  Next Thursday, on April 3, composer Dan Forrest will be coming to The Master’s College. Dr. Forrest is a favorite composer of the college and we will be performing his Requiem for the Living.

Earlier that day, Dr. Forrest will be giving short private lessons to the composition students and, at 4:00pm, he will be giving a public composition master class in the TMC Music Recital Hall.  Several students are asked to present their compositions for Dr. Forrest to critique and give suggestions on in front of the audience.

I will be one of the students presenting and I will be sharing1-2 of the songs from The Light Princess that I have been writing.  I had the opportunity to present my Pirate Legends to Dr. Forrest two years ago and his advice was very helpful.  I am looking forward to his comments and thoughts this time!

Visitors are welcome, by the way!  If you would like to hear a sneak peak of the The Light Princess I would love to have you come!