School Visits and Clinics
Although my D.M.A. is in Composition and my current day job is teaching courses related to music theory and composition at the University of Missouri, I also taught public school orchestra for 11 years in New York State and in Wisconsin and my doctoral minor was in String Pedagogy, at the University of Wisconsin, working with Janet Jansen.
I was incredibly lucky as a young composer to be invited by Marvin Rabin to compose my first symphony orchestra piece for a reading by the Wisconsin Youth Symphony. Soon I became much involved in Rabin's remarkable string development program through the Summer String Institutes where I got to study and make music with Rabin, George Bornoff, Gary Karr and other wonderful musicians and pedagogues.
Also important for me, as a string player and teacher, was the opportunity to work with Kato Havas, in masterclasses and private chamber music coachings in Oxford, UK, and in the U.S.
ALL of my music for students, including every string orchestra piece, is, first of all, music that I hope students will enjoy. But every piece also targets some general musical goals (feeling a common pulse/subdivision across the ensemble) and a few specific technical skills (e.g., bow distribution, playing position/posture through natural harmonics, shifting, etc.) that can be effectively taught through the study of the composition. For this reason, I really enjoy any opportunity to work with students who are studying one or more of my compositions. In the past this has included exceptional orchestras performing my music at Midwest Clinic or at many All State festivals (a few are included in the slideshow, below), but it's equally rewarding to be involved in a school setting, when the first teaching of the piece is in process. I learn so much from the orchestra directors and the young musicians. And, of course, I enjoy working with young composers and other kinds of ensembles, including student choirs who are working on something I've composed.
If you are interested in arranging a clinic, composer visit (which can also take the form of a visit by Skype), or any sort of collaboration or commission, please use the "Contact" button to send me an email describing what you're thinking. I look forward to hearing from you!