Into the Blue (2003/2018) for Concert Band
Duration: 9 minutes
Instrumentation: Large Concert Band (see perusal score for details)
Difficulty: Band Grade 4
Commission: The Concert Band version was commissioned for the 2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association National Conference
Premiere: May 2018; Kansas City, MO

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Program Notes: The phrase “Into the Blue” invokes thoughts of a journey into the unknown, an openness toward new possibilities, all accompanied by a playful, adventurous spirit and a big dose of spontaneity. I imagine a journey from one place to another without a direct route pre-mapped between start and finish. These descriptions of “Into the Blue” hold true for the composition as well. The piece is propelled by the events set in motion in the beginning and ideas are bounced playfully through the orchestra. The unexpected is embraced, spontaneous detours are celebrated and we journey together with the music into the distance, allowing events to unfold naturally and fully. “Into the Blue” for orchestra was commissioned and premiered by the Youth Symphony of Kansas City in 2003. This Concert Band version was commissioned for the 2018 Lesbian and Gay Band Association National Conference and was premiered in May 2018.


Musica Ignota (2020) for Concert Band
Duration: 9 minutes
Instrumentation: Large Concert Band
Difficulty: Band Grade 4+
Commission: Consortium of 45 ensembles organized by Edwin Powell (Pacific Lutheran University) and Kaitlin Bove (Pierce College).
Premiere: Scheduled for October 2021
Currently only available to consortium members for performance.
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Program Notes: The famous Rhineland mystic, nun, healer and composer, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) hardly needs an introduction. Recent popular and scholarly discoveries of her music as well as correspondences and writings on natural healing have made her famous to the public at large. Her extraordinary achievements, all the more astonishing considering the burden of being a woman in a medieval monastic world, have made her something of an international cult figure. My composition Musica Ignota draws inspiration from Hildegard’s music as well as her lesser-known invented language system entitled Lingua Ignota (Latin for “unknown language”). To write in this imaginary language, she used an alphabet of 23 letters and created a glossary of over 1000 beautiful, unknown words, presumably intended as a universal language for mystical purposes. The opening to the glossary in the Wiesbaden Riesencodex disarmingly states that Lingua Ignota is “an unknown language brought forward by the simple human being Hildegard (Ignota lingua per simplicem hominem Hildegardem prolata).” Having grown up in the Rhineland myself, I have long been fascinated by Hildegard von Bingen and it is my hope that the “unknown music” brought forth in Musica Ignota, serves to honor her life and work.


Panta Rhei (2010) for Wind Ensemble
Duration: 8 min
Instrumentation: 2+1,2,2+1,2, Sop.Sax, Alto Sax, Tn. Sax-4,3,3,1-timp.,perc (2), piano
Percussion Details: Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, triangle, 2 suspended cymbals, tam-tam
Difficulty: Band Grade 5+/Advanced
Commission: UMKC Wind Symphony, Steven D. Davis, conductor
Premiere: UMKC Wind Symphony, Steven D. Davis, conductor, October 28, 2010; Kansas City, MO

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Program Notes: Panta Rhei, from the Greek “everything flows,” is a term that is attributed to the Greek philosopher Heraclitus (c.535-c.475 B.C.). He believed that permanence was an illusion of the senses, that the world is permanently becoming and that all things are in constant flux. For me, music encapsulates this concept. For one, music only exists in time and therefore is in constant flux. There is also no permanence; one can never experience a piece the same way twice, nor is it possible to perform a piece exactly the same. Heraclitus beautifully sums up this concept by saying that one can never step into the same river twice. I find this comforting and exciting as a listener and as a composer. Panta Rhei was commissioned and premiered by Steven D. Davis and the UMKC Wind Symphony.