There's so much to write about!
The finished work for string orchestra, titled Meditation and Dance was delivered to the Consortium Members during the first week of December. The work ended up being in two main sections and five minutes in total. I'm pleased with how it turned out, the slow section is especially beautiful and the fast section has just enough to balance the work. As a composer, I'll never be satisfied with a finished work, at least not initially. From my perspective it can never be perfect, but at some point it has to be completed!
After delivery, I met with the Edwardsville High School Orchestra for an initial run on December 8th. This first rehearsal led to several immediate changes before a second meeting with the principal players on December 19th. The input from these five young but very insightful musicians led to major changes including the addition of slow material near the end of the work and some reworking of the viola parts. The final draft was delivered by January 3rd, 2017.
January was a busy month. Early in the month I visited Alton High School where I heard two orchestra classes rehearse the work and answered questions on topics ranging from my process to selecting the title. I also visited Edwardsville High School one last time before the world premiere of Meditation and Dance at the Illinois Music Educator Conference in Peoria on January 28th.
Two more performances are approaching soon. The combined Edwardsville High School Orchestras will perform the work Thursday, February 23rd in the school auditorium and the Alton High School Orchestra will have their premiere at the First Presbyterian Church in Alton, Illinois on February 28th.