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Thursday, August 23, 2018

New releases for flute

Russell Scarbrough
I'm happy to announce I have two new pieces published by Falls House Press and available through the Theodore Presser Co. ...In Circles, for flute quartet, and Silver Strand, for two flutes and piano, were both works premiered at the National Flute Convention. They  released at this year's August conference in Orlando, and are now available for ordering from the Presser web site.

About Silver Strand: Rhythmically exciting with intricate counterpoint and a propelling groove, Silver Strand weaves a horizontal thread that is lyrically beautiful and full of suspense. The 7-minute work may be heard as a string of dance variations with intensity and texture flowing as the title suggests. Silver Strand was composed for Kathryn Scarbrough and Tereasa Payne who premiered the work at the 2016 NFA convention in San Diego, just a mile east of the Silver Strand Beachfront on Coronado Island.

About ...In Circles: Scarbrough’s 7-minute quartet is a musical response to Galileo’s theory of heavenly motion, "Left to their own devices, things tend to move in circles." In light of Newton having proven Galileo incorrect, the composer has written, "…there is an element of irony in this title, which provides some insight into the music. It struck me as such a beautiful and lyrical thought, I couldn’t resist the impulse to spend a few minutes reflecting on it with notes and rhythms." …In Circles was premiered at the 2017 NFA Convention by Tereasa Payne, Kathryn Scarbrough, Ali Ryerson, and Chris Potter.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The story of "Solaces" on TV

In January, I traveled to Peoria, Illinois for the Illinois Music Education Conference with the Buffalo Grove High School Chamber Orchestra, so guest-conduct Solaces. Prior to that performance, I appeared on WTTW-Chicago in a profile of the piece and the circumstances surrounding its creation, and discussed some of its unique musical features.

The orchestra's performance in Peoria was excellent, and considering the technical challenges of the work, not to mention the expressive demands inherent in such a piece, it was really an outstanding and memorable achievement. Many in the audience were moved by the performance, and several of the educators present commented on the musical language of the piece – in particular, that it "didn't sound like movie music" (which I suppose is how most youth orchestras encounter contemporary works). I wasn't conscious of this while I was writing, but there were some discussions going on about how there was a lack of intermediate-level modern orchestra works of real quality, particularly string orchestra.

You can view the WTTW broadcast here.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Jazz at Houghton College

I'm pleased to announce I'm the new Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Jazz Band Director at the Greatbatch School of Music at Houghton College. I'll be working with some excellent students and colleagues there!
Greatbatch School of Music
This will be in addition to my present role directing the Canisius College Jazz Ensemble. It's very satisfying to work with a wide range of young, eager students.