thoughts on music, design and literature

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Farewell Waterford

Here are a few pictures from the Waterford High School Concerts.
Impressive, isn't it?

All told, Derek Machan had almost 200 singers on stage, with an
orchestra of 75 pulled from cities as far away as Milwaukee and
Chicago. Not bad for a town of only 3000. This orchestra signed on to
perform this as volunteers--none of them were getting any pay when
they agreed to the concerts (although ultimately Derek was able to
raise enough funds to give them all a small stipend). I'm told that
many of them agreed to play after hearing the music--if that's the
case, then I'm really honored.

I spent all of Monday visiting all of Derek's various choir and music
theory classes. Waterford Union High School is a school of about
1000, and about 200 of them are enrolled in choir. I spent the day
answering questions about the album, about composing in general, and
just getting to know the students better. Really, this was the
highlight for me. They were just so enthusiastic and fun, that it was
a welcome break from my life in LA.

It really is a great story... how this school and this community all
pulled together to make this happen. Local business chipped in funds
to pay for instrument rental, and for paying for my flight and lodging
out to Waterford. The parents of choir members helped with my meals
and transportation (thanks to the Gabrhels!). A friend of Derek's
(and longtime Facebook friend of mine) Eric Carlson and his daughter
Kayla helped with the live sound and recording the concert. A small
town came together and made it happen. And look how packed that stage
is! It really blows my mind that they made this happen.

In a sense, the fact that Waterford did this proves to the rest of the
world--and me--that it *can* be done live. Sure, every composer
dreams that their works will be premiered at Carnegie Hall. But for
me, I couldn't be prouder that the world premiere of Calling All Dawns
was given by the Waterford Union High School Choir. These students
came together and made it happen, led by their fearless choral
director... and the results were FANTASTIC. (YouTube videos to
follow, once they post them.)

Bravo, Waterford!

(Photos by Chuck Frey)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Last Lunch In Wisconsin

Sampling the local cuisine!

Lunch at Culver's, a local restaurant chain. That little bag is full of cheese curds... basically cheddar mcnuggets.

Don't really get those in LA! Closest we have are mozzarella sticks.


Ah... this is the weather I was expecting.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Their Lockers

This is really sweet. :) Their booster club made little signs for all their lockers.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Signing Autographs

I signed a lot of autographs today... CDs, programs, sheet music... Oh, and four foreheads too.

(For the record, I asked repeatedly if they were *absolutely* sure if they wanted my name in Sharpie on their foreheads, and they said yes, so... there you have it.)

Concert #1

Concert about to start. Look how packed that stage is!

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Waterford, WI: The World Premiere Of Calling All Dawns!

This is the view from my hotel room in Waterford, WI. It's a small town of about 3000 people, but home to a high school with a large choral program, led by a very gutsy choral director named Derek Machan.

A year ago Derek asked if he might get a hold of the score and parts to the entire Calling All Dawns song cycle. He said he wanted to perform the whole thing. I thought he was nuts.

Flash forward to today, and I arrive in cold Waterford this evening for what is amounting to the world premiere of a song cycle that I thought would never be performed live. Yet here we are. Never in my wildest dreams did I think a high school, much less one in a town of 3000, would be able to assemble the resources to put on a performance of the whole album. It defies imagination.

I am told that Derek has assembled a choir of almost 200, and an orchestra of 75. Yes, you read that correctly. Derek will have more people on the stage tomorrow than I have on my album.

I'll continue blogging about this mind-boggling trip from my iPhone. Maybe take a few more pictures.