A few weeks ago, I was thrilled to learn that my latest piece “Internal Combustion” was going to premiere in Nashville with the Nashville Composer Collective. Not only did this mean a performance (something we composers are always looking for), but it was also an excuse to go back to my old stomping ground for a few days.
However, my excitement was soon outweighed by apprehension. Would spending time in Nashville and remembering the life I once had make me regret the whole decision to move to Chicago? Or would Nashville just seem like a boring, quant town after three months of life in the big city?
As the flat, corn-lined highway stretched in front of me for as far as I could see, months of anticipation and preparation shifted into reality. After uprooting myself from my beloved Music City eight months ago, I was now trading my Virginia Appalachians for Chicago skyscrapers.
Two weeks ago, a wave of apprehension came over me as I packed my bags to head to the Composers’ Retreat of the Wintergreen Summer Music Festival. I shouldn’t have been nervous, because I’d had a great experience when I participated in the same program three years ago. But this time, I felt like everything was at stake. Continue reading “What Happened When I Spent 2 Weeks at a Composers’ Retreat…”→
Over the last few weeks, I’ve found myself traveling all over the place to study at a couple of summer music festivals. I was at the Fresh Inc Festival in Wisconsin for two weeks in June, and it was so good that I haven’t been able to figure out how to sum up the experience in one post. Hopefully I’ll do that soon, though. At the moment, I’ve just finished my first week at the Atlantic Music Festival in Maine, and it’s been amazing.
When I say “music festival” to some people, they imagine that I’m talking about loud rock bands and lots of drugs and wild partying, but these classical festivals I attend could hardly be farther from that. In my world, the music festivals I speak of are the places you go as a young composer to sharpen your skills, make connections, and study music intensely without the burden of homework and day-to-day chores that I have during the school year.
With my senior year behind me, I can say it’s been a pretty unbelievable couple of semesters, for so many reasons. So much has happened since I posted in August that I figured it was time for an update…
This year, I had nine performances of several of my pieces. One of the highlights was having the Belmont Orchestra perform Out of Ashes twice this spring: once at the annual Classical Performers Concert, as the winner of the Composition Competition, and once at the Tennessee Music Education Association Conference. I’ve learned so much from my peers over the last four years, so it was wonderful to hear them play my work—not to mention that they gave it such incredible performances!
It’s great to be back! So much has happened this month. I’m in shock right now.
Firstly, those crazy music school auditions are over. They went well, as far as I can tell, but I still don’t know for sure if I got in. We’ll see in a couple more weeks, I hope.
But that brings me to my main piece of news–I didn’t audition as any kind of composition major like I had thought I would. I’ve changed my mind again, and now I’m a music minor majoring in Audio Engineering.