Earworm: “Case of You”

I remember that time you told me, you said
’Love is touching souls’
Surely you touched mine
’Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
— Joni Mitchell

I was a freshman or sophomore in college when a friend asked me if I liked Joni Mitchell. When I sheepishly replied that I’d liked what I’d heard of her but didn’t know very much of her work, he handed me a pile of her CDs and told me he hoped I would enjoy them.

One of those CDs was her seminal album, Blue, released in 1971. Her fourth album, Blue was the first of her records to reach platinum on both the US and UK, even going double platinum in the UK.

Truth be told, I don’t think there’s a bad track on this album, but one in particular caught my attention when I first heard it and again when I stumbled across it recently. “A Case of You” is probably my favorite song on Blue. The combination of her sparse mountain dulcimer and compelling story-telling is irresistible. Like so many of Mitchell’s songs, “A Case of You” is about a relationship, but what makes it stand out to me is the complexity that she captures in just under 4 1/2 minutes. This lover is by turns infatuating and infuriating, and though it all, she never fails to perfectly illustrate how they are “so bitter and so sweet.”

Podcast Interview!

When my friend Jess invited me to be on her Art Stuff Podcast earlier this month, the first thing I thought of was “Oh, crap. I don’t have a website anymore!” (Quickly followed by, “Oh, crap! I haven’t done an interview in like 15 years!”)

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So thanks to her, I was motivated and inspired to re-open my website after allowing it to lapse since the end of 2018. Hopefully, if you listen to the interview, you’ll understand why I was gone for so long—and why I’m so very thrilled to be back.

Happy music making, all!

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Now Available: "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" for Woodwind Quartet

My first publicly available arrangement is now available for purchase! The score and parts for woodwind quartet are live on Sheet Music Plus.

This arrangement of "Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming" sets the traditional carol for woodwind quartet (flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon). Arranged to be easily accessible to early intermediate players in schools and churches alike, the arrangement stays true  to the original carol with limited original writing added to highlight the unique timbres of a woodwind quartet. The arrangement is approximately 1:30, perfect for a short interlude and easily repeatable to provide more material.

If you'd like to see this re-arranged for other quartet, drop me a note and I'll get right on it. I plan to post others anyway, but if you have one you'd like to see first, let me know. And if you purchase and perform, please share with me! I love knowing my music is out there in the world.

Earworms: "Sing, Sing, Sing" and "Inside Out"

I eagerly listen to just about anything that I can get my hands on. Always have. I grew up listening to Nitty Griity Dirt Band; Patti Lupone's performance in EvitaLa Boheme when it aired on the local PBS station. When I started playing flute at age 9 and more seriously orchestra music at 14, I just expanded what I listened to. Music was not an "either this or that" situation for me; it's always been more of a "both this and that." 

Thanks to the curiosity of one of my students, there's been a lot of jazz in my ears lately. Recently, while I was scrounging YouTube for some Mingus, the "Up Next" feature recommended Benny Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing."

I love jazz clarinet, and in particular I love Goodman. His sparkling tone cuts through the band as a soloist but can respectfully take its place in accompanying lines as well: a rare balance! He uses the clarinet in a driving, rhythmic way that completely changed my perspective on the instrument the first time I heard it. 

This particular time, the brass lick in “Sing, Sing, Sing” prodded something in my recent listening memory. That melody, combined with the prominent drum line, reminded me of Imdela May’s 2011 release, “Inside Out.”

Decades apart, these two pieces strike a dialogue. Love it when music connects like that. 

2018 - 2019 Maryland All-State Junior Band Audition Music

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It's that time of year again: time to start preparing for Maryland All-State auditions. Here's the list of requirements, straight from the Maryland Music Educators Association website.

Talk to your band director about getting set up, and then go see your private teacher for help preparing your scales, solos, and sight-reading for your audition!


Scales

  • Each student will be asked to perform the chromatic scale and one major scale for their instrument, selected from the following keys: C, F,  G,  D, A, E, B- Flat, E-Flat, A-Flat. 
  • The scales must be performed from memory.
  • Scales will be selected by the adjudicator according to the level of the selection being performed.
  • The scales are to be played evenly and smoothly in a 16th note pattern at a metronome speed of quarter = 72.
  • All scales are to be played ascending and descending a minimum of one octave, except Flute and Soprano Clarinet who shall perform the scales a minimum of two octaves.

2018 - 2019 All State Junior Band (Grades 7 - 9) Music

  • Flute (Piccolo): Rubank Advanced, Vol. 1, HL 04470390
    • Page 69 - #3 – quarter note = 60
    • Page 51 - #14 – dotted quarter note = 60
  • Clarinet (Eb Clarinet): Rubank Advanced, Vol. 1, HL 04470310
    • Page 24 - #6 (top) – dotted quarter note = 54
    • Page 54 – #17 – quarter note = 112
  • Low Clarinet: Rubank Advanced, Vol. 1, HL 04470310
    • Page 69 - #2 – quarter note = 116
    • Page 57 - #27 - quarter note = 68
  • All Saxophones: Rubank Advanced, Vol.1, HL 04470370
    • Page 30 - #12 quarter note = 72
    • Page 42-43 - #25 (no repeats) – quarter note = 132