I’m super excited to share Alex Dowling’s new piece, “∞” for marimba and electronics! We started working on this during lockdown in the summer of 2020 as a follow up to Emma O’Halloran’s “How Sweet the Thought of You as Infinite,” and I know that this set of pieces is going to be in my repertoire for a very long time! I had been hoping that Alex would want to work on a percussion piece after seeing all of his incredible work with voice and electronics, and I’m beyond thrilled that he was willing to take the leap!
“∞” picks up in the sound world that Emma’s piece journeys to, and spends time basking in the beautiful, other-worldly sounds of the electronics. So many pieces for marimba, and percussion in general, are over the top and all about flash and speed and technical prowess, but Alex’s piece subverts all of that and offers a refreshing take on the possibilities of the instrument. The electronics are integrated so seamlessly, and they respond organically to everything that the performer does. His piece is an opportunity for nuance, subtlety, and a completely different kind of virtuosity. I hope you enjoy it!
I’m really excited that two pieces I wrote have been published by C. Alan Publications! I started working on these short multiple percussion pieces a few years ago as a way to give my students some new repertoire when they were first starting out in this area of percussion. Each piece is short (not requiring them to take an entire semester to learn it) and focuses on one or two concepts or skills that are essential for student percussionists to master. They’ve been really helpful for the students that have worked on them, and I hope they can be of use to others! I’ve got more coming in the near future, but for now enjoy the video for “Rex” and be sure to check out the scores HERE!
I am incredibly excited about the release of the video of Emma O’Halloran’s piece, How Sweet the Thought of You as Infinite. We managed to get the recording done in early March, just before so much of the world went into quarantine. All of us are so thrilled with the final project, and how well it represents Emma’s amazing piece!
Special thanks to New Music USA for supporting our project financially, Four/Ten Media for being the best production team in the business, Rittenhouse Soundworks for a unique and inspiring space to record in, Pearl/Adams for their incredible instruments, Innovative Percussion for the sticks and mallets that help me sound my best, and, of course, Emma, for being the absolute best collaborator that I could imagine working with!
I feel so honored to have been awarded a Project Grant from New Music USA for this year! Emma O’Halloran and I submitted a proposal to record her brand new piece for marimba and electronics with the incredible gentlemen at Four/Ten Media, and despite the extremely competitive application and selection process, our project was chosen. We’ll be traveling to Philadelphia this coming Spring and making a great video to document Emma’s beautiful piece!
In the meantime… You can check out our project page on the New Music USA site, by clicking HERE!
I had a fantastic time visiting with colleagues and students at four schools in Colorado earlier this month! Stops included Adams State University (Alamosa), Colorado State University (Fort Collins), Colorado Christian University (Denver), and the Lamont School of Music (University of Denver). It was wonderful to share some of the music that I’ve been working on recently in recitals and masterclasses, hear some outstanding students play, and to have lots of really great conversations! I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to visit this beautiful state, that also happens to be overflowing with excellent percussion!
And, of course, thanks to all of my incredibly generous sponsors for supporting my visit and music education! It wouldn’t have been possible without their assistance!
I’m extremely excited to be presenting a session at the 2019 National Conference on Percussion Pedagogy at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX! My presentation is entitled “Work Worth Doing: Integrating Service Learning Into the Collegiate Percussion Curriculum,” and it is aimed at helping fellow percussion instructors get involved in service learning with their students. This is a topic that I’m extremely passionate about, and proud of the work that we have been doing at WCU! If you’re not able to attend the conference, I’ve shared the handout below. Feel free to let me know what you think about it. I’d love to hear from you!
The 18-19 School Year/Season is underway, and I’m really excited about all of the things happening this year! Some highlights include a clinic/performance tour to three universities in Virginia in October, a performance with the Assembly Saxophone Quartet (with my WCU colleague Ian Jeffress) at the American Single Reed Summit, playing Chris Ozley’s concerto with the WCU Wind Ensemble in the spring, and a few trips to play with the orchestra in Des Moines. My students are gearing up for a performance at PASIC in November, and I’ve got plenty of other events on the calendar, as well. I’m also organizing a consortium to commission a new piece from the amazing Emma O’Halloran, and starting to make some plans for another big project with the women of Kinds of Kings. Hope to see you at a performance sometime this season!
(Picture from WCU Faculty Showcase Recital on 9/4/18 – Playing Gene Koshinski’s “Get It!” with Dr. Will Peebles)
Im humbled to have been elected to serve as the new President of the North Carolina Chapter of the Percussive Arts Society! I’ll have big shoes to fill, following the great work of Dr. Don Parker, but I’m looking forward to working with my fellow officers to continue building this great music community in N.C.!