“Midnight Clear” on Performance Today! Merry Christmas!

My piece was on Performance Today hosted by Fred Child (pictured left) for Christmas Eve! If you didn’t catch it live you can go to their archive and find it here. It’s part of the second hour and it’s the second song on the list. It starts at about 6 minutes in to the show. Never really thought I’d be on the same web site as John Cage.

Yeah, I know they got it wrong, they’re calling it an arrangement when it’s really a setting. For those who are still confused, here’s your guide:

Arrangement – A piece based on a previously existing melody such as a hymn.

Setting – A piece not based on any pre-existing material.

I don’t blame Mr. Child. It was probably KBYU. Everyone here in Utah calls everything an “arrangement” when it’s not necessarily so. They hear about a new arrangement by Mack Wilberg and then they think everything is an arrangement. Bless their hearts.

Anyway, Merry Christmas everybody! And a Happy New Year! Thank you Mr. Child!

BIG NEWS! “Midnight Clear,” to Air Nationally on “Performance Today”

I’m back in California, visiting my brother and his family for Christmas. It’s beautiful, like 60 degrees and sunny. I walked outside in shorts and was just fine. Gonna go to the beach tomorrow and get a bagel with smoked salmon with cream cheese. Happy Winter Solstice everybody! Anyway, on to the real stuff.

I just got an email from Dr. Staheli telling me that my piece was submitted by KBYUFM to American Public Media‚Äôs Performance Today for their Christmas Eve program. They collect different pieces from university Christmas programs and select a few of them to air on their program. Well, one of the pieces selected to air on their Christmas Eve program was the BYU Singers performance of “It Came upon the Midnight Clear.”

Is this really happening? I think my head just exploded! I’m feeling the same way about this as when Dr. Staheli asked me if BYU Singers would perform it for this year’s Christmas concert. It doesn’t feel real. I have to stop and just make sure that I’m not making things up.

Well, in any case, I’ve learned that one of the best antidotes/vaccines for an inflated ego/swollen head is work. I’ve still got a lot of work to do. I’ll be giving updates throughout the break. And we’ll see if I can take out some time to go surfing down in Santa Cruz.

Currently in Finals Week

It’s been a while since I’ve posted because I’m currently in the middle of finals week here. I’ve been studying and finishing up projects. I’m taking two finals today (which involves three tests), and got my last one tomorrow. In the meantime, I still need to finish my extra credit project for one class, and I need to pack up everything I own and move it all to my new apartment before I leave for California this Saturday.

But the work is paying off. When talking to a professor about my grade in his class I asked if I could see what my final grade was. He agreed and showed me what I got. I did VERY well. A smile crept across my face because this is a particularly difficult class. He then said, “You don’t need to gild the lily any further.” Aww yeah. P’wned!

I’ve been getting some great feedback about “It Came upon the Midnight Clear.” Many people told me that it was their favorite piece from the entire night. Others told me they had tears in their eyes while listening to it. Many people said they really felt something uplifting and enlightening. That’s exactly what I was going for. I wanted to write something that would lift people up, and strengthen their faith in Christ. I don’t just want to entertain, I want to buoy up the spirit. Maybe I can help somebody when nothing else can. That’s my hope.

“It Came upon the Midnight Clear” Recording

Wow! What a weekend. I can’t believe it’s actually happened. This dream of mine has actually become reality. BYU Singers’ premiere of my setting of “It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” turned out beautifully. They really locked it in and nailed it. I could not have hoped for a better premiere. I’m so humbled that they would all pick up this piece and put as much energy into it as they would any other piece. Dr. Staheli did such a masterful job interpreting and conducting the piece. Wow!

It’s kinda funny, a lot of people have told me that it sounds very “Whiticre-esque.” I take that as a very high compliment, but for the record, I actually had Gabriel Jackson and Maurice Beesley in my head when I wrote this.

I’ve started putting the material together to start sending it off to some publishers. Here’s page one again, with a quick and dirty recording to accompany it. Hope you enjoy! Tell me what you think.

(Recording is now under “Works” tab)

“Midnight Clear” Premieres TONIGHT!

Hey everyone! Tonight is the night! BYU Singers will premiere me piece, “It Came upon the Midnight Clear,” to THREE SOLD OUT SHOWS! In addition to three packed concert halls worth of people, the show will be broadcast live Saturday Night (Dec. 5th) on Classical 89. You can listen to it streaming online here. If you can’t tell, I’m super excited. I just really hope that my head doesn’t explode during the performance.

In this last week of rehearsals it’s really started to come together really well. It’s sounding amazing. I could not have asked for a better ensemble or a better conductor. This is, literally, a dream come true.

I’ll post a recording as soon as I get one. Wish us luck!