This summer has been my busiest summer in quite a while. Last month, I attended the University of North Texas Conducting Collegium for two weeks (4 sessions). It was such an amazing experience and I was fortunate to meet so many wonderful people (shout out to the Peanut Gallery!!!). There were 44 pieces and there was something enjoyable about almost every one of them.
The purpose of the Collegium is multi-fold. If you’re a conductor, you gain the experience of conducting the UNT Wind Symphony while getting feedback from the fantastic faculty, learn a great piece that you (hopefully) enjoy and if you’re planning on applying to UNT for an advanced degree, it’s a pre-audition of sorts. The pieces that are assigned for the Collegium are the pieces to appear in the next (9th this year) volume of Teaching Music through Performance in Band series, published by GIA. Directly after the Collegium, the Wind Symphony and staff worked an extra week to record all the pieces for the CDs that goes with Volume 9 and now, the staff is working on the CD edits. The participants in the Collegium are basically rehearsal conductors for the recording session. Pretty cool honor, huh? (But that’s not the big honor this entry’s title refers to.)
So, the big news – during the Collegium, they replaced a piece that was obviously too difficult to be considered a Grade 3 (this year’s music was all Grade 2 & Grade 3) once they ran through the piece. Every piece that is on the CDs has a Study Guide in the book written for it so one needed to be written for the replacement piece and Professor Corporon asked me to write the Study Guide. Yes folks, I’m about to be PUBLISHED!!! And it’s such an honor that of everyone that was there, he asked me.
I’m writing about Akatonbo by Joseph Spaniola. It’s published by Musica Propria. It is a beautiful piece and we read it several times with the Stony Point Concert Band but it never quite worked for their UIL program. I’ve also been excited that it’s a western interpretation of a Japanese folk song. Talk about fitting me to a T! 🙂 There are very strict guidelines from GIA on how it should be written but they include a template to work from which helps so much. I’m almost done with the writing part. I just have a few questions (which, of course, may lead to more questions) to get answered by Dr. Spaniola. Speaking of the composer, I’m so blessed that he’s been so kind and helpful in this process. They asked me to write the study guide in about 2 weeks (everyone else had about 3 months) and having access to him has been a Godsend!
Hardest part about writing for me is writing formally and not writing in circles. I’ve always had issues with that so editing takes a village. Thankfully, I have a few people who have offered to help. It’s about time to send them a draft. 🙂 Anywho, I just had to take a break from all my researching and writing I keep Tweeting about share this exciting news!
Love you, mean it!