Composer Scott Watson is my guest on this episode. Scott has over 60 published works, mostly through by Alfred Music. In this diverse episode we discuss Scott's impressive career including his musical background, his compositional process, acquiring commissions and using consortiums, guest conducting, technology in the classroom, project based learning, graded band music, learning one instrument very well, and finding inspiration in writing music for young players.
Scott Watson, born 1962 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania has composed for concert, radio, and theater and received recognition for his work from ASCAP, the American Composers Forum, the American Music Center, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and others.
Watson's music for band is published primarily by Alfred Publications, for whom he an exclusive composer. Other music for concert band is published by Wingert-Jones Publications, TRN, C. L. Barnhouse, Hal Leonard, Concert Works Unlimited (a division of Shawnee Press, now distributed by Hal Leonard), and Jon Ross Music. His string/orchestra music is published by Alfred Publications and Wingert-Jones Publications Publications, and his chamber music is published by Trillenium Music Company. You can hear excerpts of Watson's compositions by clicking on the Music links above.
About Watson's music, The Instrumentalist says "outstanding...with beautiful melodies and interesting harmonies" (Mark Hosler, 2004), Percussive Notes says "written with supreme craft" (Cort McClaren, 1993), the Allentown Morning Call says "Watson exhibited a great deal of skill in managing the resources of the orchestra...a very well-crafted piece...he will very likely become a force to be reckoned with" (Philip A. Metzger, 2000), and PMEA News says "Watson skillfully transforms his zest for life into his own brand of unique musical exuberance. His scoring for winds, brass, and percussion is excellent" (Kenneth Laudermilch, 1998). His music for band has several times been performed at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic (Chicago) and named to several Bandworld Top 100 and Japan Band Clinic Yamaha Recommends 100 Pieces for Band listings. Recent projects include Youth/Student Concert performances of his Aesop's Fables by the Allentown Band, with dance choreographed by Repertory Dance Theater, as well as commissions by the MusicAlliance Honor Band Camp (Cleveland, OH, made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts), Lehigh County (Pennsylvania) Bandmasters Association, Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association (Spring 2007, concert band and chorus); International Horn Society Meir Rimon Fund (Spring 2006, solo horn and concert band); an American Composers Forum Continental Harmony project commission, Magic Valley, (2004, concert band); Figurations (for winds and percussion), commissioned by the West Chester University Wind Ensemble, Kenneth Laudermilch, Director; Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, for the Temple University Symphony Orchestra, Luis Biava conductor and Terell Stafford, trumpet soloist; and Hymn and Declaration, commissioned by the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, Donald Spieth, Director. Watson has been pleased and honored to serve as guest conductor or adjudicator at various band festivals.
Watson received his MM and DMA in Composition from Temple University, where his composition teachers include Maurice Wright and Matthew Greenbaum. Watson teaches instrumental and elective music in the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA), and serves as adjunct professor teaching music education/music technology courses for University of the Arts, Cairn University, and Central Connecticut State University and Applied Composition for University of Valley Forge. During the 2001-02 academic year, he served as Assistant Professor of Music Theory and Technology at Temple University's Esther Boyer College of Music (Philadelphia, PA). Additionally, his book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity, which focuses on project-based, creative music learning facilitated by technology, is published by Oxford University Press.
A podcast featuring conversations with teachers, composers, and performers of music for winds and percussion.