I know this is old news but it is also good news. Back in early February 2013, my mom approached me over the phone and asked me to write a brass piece for students to play for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Matt’s Music Store in Tonawanda NY. Gladly I obliged not knowing what I was getting into. For this piece, I got to practice writing music for a student level ensemble for the first time. This is something that I hope to do many more times in the future and this was a great opportunity to do so.
While I was beginning to construct the piece, it was requested that the piece be fun, attention getting, and that it include some of the music that students studying their instruments would be practicing and subsequently, the staff at the store would hear on a constant basis during student’s lessons. I then came up with the Idea of beginning with a Fanfare that made use of common chord structures and melodies like Do a dear. I then decided to make the piece go into a Polka that includes the infamous “Hot Cross Buns” because Mr. Matt is an avid accordion player who has appeared on the Lawrence Welk show. The piece then evolved into an eclectic style medley of swing (referencing the fact that the Store has a Jazz band) pop songs quotes that you may hear through the walls,and other typical lesson book songs.
All though composing this I had to keep the ability level of the players in mind and there were some things that initially did not work because of this. However, it was the process of changing things to make them more idiomatic for the students where I learned the most from this piece (thank you Mom for the guidance). Even though I was not able to be there for the premiere, I am told that the students had fun playing it and that Mr. Matt and the Audience enjoyed it. Also, it helps that those kids did a fantastic job, and my mom did great coaching the quintet, Without them, this would not have happened. All in all, it was a very rewarding experience that I am proud of and I had a BLAST doing it.
P.S. if you read this whole post and watched the video, you are AWESOME! Also, remember, Feedback is always welcome and much appreciated.