Greetings readers. Sorry for the lateness this month! I really have no good excuse! Things have been growing busier, and I got caught up in the movements of the world. In this month’s issue, I’ll present some summaries on different parts of my life. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and let those you care about know that you do.

Piano

          I don’t think I’ve addressed my piano playing much, so here goes. I took some piano lessons in high school, studied jazz piano in college, accompanied a church children’s choir, and just passed my Proficiency Exam for the Masters program at IU. Typically, I believe my abilities are more limited than other people say.

          However, I am determined to continue improving my skills, so I’ve been diving into Bach’s 2-part inventions. I can play No. 4 in D-min from memory, and I’m learning No. 1 in C-Maj. Hooray! I can play some Bach, which I’ve never been able to do, so it’s a big step for me. Then, I had to sight-read a few pieces to help Kia prepare for her audition at IU. NOT the same thing. I probably played 1% of the notes, and that serves as a reminder that sight-reading feels different and requires a different style of practice than prepared pieces.

Composition

          My composition life is currently filled with two things: Prologue for Carlos, a wind ensemble piece for the Baldwin Wallace Symphonic Wind Ensemble, and Requiem for a Light, a requiem for SSAATTBB and newscaster. As I’ve been progressing through these pieces, I keep getting new ideas that don’t fit. So I write them down. I now have sketches for 3-4 different pieces sitting idle while on work on my two big projects.

          The wind ensemble work needs to be short (4-6min), fun, and accessible. I like that. It makes me think about the writing in a new perspective. I think that’s healthy! Setting limits and sketching drafts have been invaluable in this process.

          The requiem will involve traditional text and real tragedies described in my own words. More on this later.

Performances

I have a few performances of my works coming up and would love to see you there!

          April 18 (most likely) – Hunting Patterns for multi-percussion solo

          April 29 (Ben Shaheen’s percussion recital at BW) – With Flowers, We Gather for marimba & violin

          October (BW FOCUS Festival) – Prologue for Carlos for wind ensemble

Books

          I discovered that I am completely obsessed with the Halo universe. The games are amazing, and so are the books! After a recent purchase, I’ve read through my older novels and newer ones (I think I have 9 now), and they’re great! I love reading about the future technology and planet colonization and recommend the books to everyone. Except maybe ODST and the book New Blood. I find a lot of the banter annoying and unrealistic.

Climbing

          I am once again in a climbing lull, but as I compare my current strength to that of a few weeks or months ago, I know I’ve made progress. Kia and I work on V5’s more frequently now, and we anticipate more growth in the coming months. Keep climbing friends!