After a very long interval (as in months), this website is back up and running. I have no idea whether anyone missed it, but alas, here we are.
For me, as a composer, not a lot has happened since the site went down (late in 2014, I believe). This is because I have been directing all my professional energy toward my teaching position at Wausau West High School, where I went full time in the fall of 2014. It's a large, successful choral program with a rich history that I've 'inherited,' and the expectations are quite high. And after one year, things are still good. I'm finding that in selecting and preparing fine choral works, my composition brain is frequently being stimulated and utilized, though toward different ends than the creation of new pieces of my own, for the most part. But as I've experienced throughout my compositional career, there are always peaks and valleys of both inspiration and output.
Looking forward, I have one big...albeit short...event on the horizon, compositionally speaking. I will be participating in a 24 hour art and music festival at UW-Marathon County on October 23-24, 2015. For this unique event, I have been tasked with creating and presenting a new choral composition in less than 24 hours. I'll get a 'prompt' on Friday the 23rd at 7pm, and will need something for the choir to start rehearsing by about 9am on Saturday the 24th. There will be a performance at 7pm on the 24th! I'm really looking forward to it. It is going to be exciting, certainly...as well as anxiety inducing, stressful, and just possibly...joyous.
This opportunity came about as the brainchild of my friend Tim Buchholz, who is quickly developing 'visionary' status as a mover and a shaker. He is a dedicated music professional who really knows how to get things done and done well, and his enthusiasm is infectious. It is in no small part that I'm looking forward to this event simply because he is involved. I hope several of my students from West will participate as well.
Loss and Gain, winner of the 2006 Wisconsin Choral Directors Association Choral Composition Competition, was performed May 12, 2013 by the UW-Marathon County Concert Choir at UWMC's beatiful Center for Civic Engagement in Wausau. Brad had an opportunity to work with the choir briefly while they were preparing the piece, and he was pleasantly surprised this week to receive a link to the video from their director, Tim Buchholz. You can find the video at the bottom of this page, and also on the music and video page.
Brad will be participating in a panel discussion at "Refresh!", the Wisconsin Choral Directors Association's summer conference being held at UW-Green Bay on June 17, 2013, at 6:45 pm. The topic will be commissioning, and the relationship between conductors, composers, and teachers. Hope to see you there!
There's a new song on the player! It is a recording of Chanticleer alum Matthew Curtis singing all four parts of Brad's TTBB setting of the poem O My Luve's Like A Red, Red Rose, by Robert Burns. You can find it at the top of the playlist on the music and video page.
St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Gladwyne, PA will present Give Thanks to the Lord on April 7, 2013. This piece was commissioned by Scott Drackley, organist and choirmaster at St. Christopher's, in honor of retiring Rev. William Wood. The text is based on Psalm 118. Scott contacted Brad through ChoralNet, and they corresponded via email to discuss the first-time commissions project. Look for a recording or video of the premier to be uploaded later this spring.
Each week, a different piece is featured on ChoralNet's front page. Brad's Full Fathom Five is this week's listing. Most of the Composition Spotlight reviews are written by Jack Senzig, who administrates the Composers of Choral Music Community on ChoralNet. Jack has been a key advocate of mine for many years, and in fact, his students are part of the choir captured in the live recording of FFF on the music and video page.
Brad, along with nearly 30 other composers, have announced a unique new commissioning project targeted at choral groups that have never commissioned a new work before. The composers are offering to provide new works in exchange for quality recordings and a truly minimal fee. The project's sign-up period ends October 15, 2012. You can find complete details about this opportunity at ChoralNet: http://www.choralnet.org/view/384044. You can also contact Brad directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have questions.
Brad has accepted a full-time teaching position at Wausau West High School and John Muir Middle School, both located in Wausau, WI. He will be teaching choir and general music, working with friends Phil Buch and Karen Zuidema, and looking forward to making many new friends as well. He also will continue to compose, so check back for future updates.
You can now view a sample score and hear a recorded excerpt of Full Fathom Five at ChoralNet's Community of Choral Music Composers online Composer's Showcase. This site is an exciting new creation where choral composers can directly market their works to choral directors. Check out what's available. Here is the storefront - and here is the SATB page, where Full Fathom Five is located. You can still order a pdf from Brad of Full Fathom Five or any of his other works by using the Contact tab, too.
In addition to conducting the Wausau Lyric Choir in the spring of 2012, Brad will be premiering a new piece with the group. His setting of a text attributed to Mary Frye, Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep, will be premiered at the Saturday, April 28 concert at 7:30 pm, at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Wausau, WI. It is scored for SATB a cappella choir and 3 soloists, and dedicated to the memory of Fred A. Washa, Tom Hill, and Bridgette N. Wegert. A second performance follows on Sunday, April 29, 3:00 pm.
Brad has been featured as the ChoralNet Composer of the Month for November, 2011. Read the full post here.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not a single act; it is a habit."