Happy Fourth of July!
Shortly before Memorial Day I completed a brand new traditional march and contacted the Mid-America Band of the United States Air Force about whether they would allow me to dedicate the work to them. I'm pleased to announce that my newest work, Mid-America March has an inscription on the score that reads:
Dedicated to the professional Airmen-musicians of the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America
My thanks to Captain Jason Plosch for his help and time in making this gesture possible. I am delighted to have been allowed to do this and happy that I could offer something back to the military for their service, even if it's only a token gesture.
On Tuesday night June 30th my work Elegy was performed on the second (of 10) chamber concerts featuring faculty and guest performers at the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, North Carolina. Violist Jamie Hofman, oboist Karen Birch Blundell, and flutist Ann Choomack gave perhaps the finest performance that any of my works have received. The review from the Classical Voice of North Carolina reads in part:
The rich colors and sonorities are explored before it culminates with gorgeous harmonics on the viola as it soars to the top of its range, as if, Connor observes "reaching toward the heavens." It would be difficult to imagine a more consummate performance than that of flutist Ann Choomack, violist Jamie Hofman, with Karen Birch Blundell on English horn.
I've been coming to the Eastern Music Festival for years in support of my wife Marta Simidtchieva who is been on the faculty for over a decade. It is such a privilege to share the spotlight with the many fine musicians with whom I've known and have been friends with for over a decade here at the festival.
It was also nice to have program notes written by the remarkable Paul Schiavo, who has written notes for recordings and concerts too numerous to list. Just a bit from the opening:
Verdi initally conceived his famous Requiem as an homage to another great Italian opera composer, Rossini, on the first anniversary of his death. The Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski wrote his beautiful Musiqui funebre to honor the late Bela Bartok. And as far back as the 15th century, the great Renaissance composer Josquin des Prez wrote a motet in honor of his teacher, Johannes Ockeghem, upon learning of the latter's passing, in 1497.
It is this kind of insightful prose that makes Paul's work a commodity, and I'm certainly flattered to be compared to Josquin, Verdi, and Lutoslawski!