May 23, 2008

Old School -- My standard answer when asked about how I began composing goes something like this:
"In high school, our drama club only had enough funding to produce a musical every other year. During the off years we would instead produce a play, but everyone always preferred to do a musical. So one year, the music teacher who advised the club found a play called "Voices From the High School" which allowed for the addition of music (either found or original). She decided to recruit students to create music for the production and a friend of mine and I ended being the only two to take up this challenge. Under the very patient guidance of this teacher we created a score for the play. The experience of presenting our music in public was enough to hook me and I've been composing ever since."
That teacher's name is Connie Zweifel and she started something that changed the course of my life.

Tthe problem with the way that I tell the story is that the friend in it had, in fact, composed before. When we worked out the music, especially the initial pieces, he was guiding and training me too. So now, publicly, I'd like to acknowledge Peter Lamos for his influence on my early craft. As best as I can remember the two maxims I gleaned from him were:
  1. You can never have too much trombone

  2. When in doubt, insert a drum solo

Today's piece is a collage of the very first piece we wrote for that very first show. Enjoy.

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