So, here we are, many months after my last journal entry; much has gone on. Let me start at the beginning:
So, February, I believe, was my last entry, and I was in the midst of submitting a Staff Arranger package to the "President's Own" Marine Band. I was immediately rejected, which is fine, I guess. At least I tried for it. I knew the insurmountable odds, but I would've kicked myself for NOT giving it a chance. That's how I felt about the missed opportunity for Marine Band Audio Engineer. I did not get the spot, but it was a good experience and I'll be ready for the next one.
I have gotten more involved with the audio engineering side of my job as of late, probably more so than composing or arranging. I've done a fair amount of recording and live sound in order to get back into the weeds with engineering. Soon, I'll be purchasing the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI (which is coincidentally what I use at work, except that it's the 32 channel model) for my personal studio and finally get it off the ground.
Talking about my studio, I also purchased just recently a Yamaha YPG-235 keyboard to help aid the compositional process as well as just to have to keep my jazz voicing chops up to par. I'd have preferred weighted keys, but I basically got it for free (thanks Amazon.com points!), so I really can't complain.
Additionally, I finally got the Sibelius 7.5 upgrade and of course, the latest update for it. I don't necessarily notice a functionality difference, except that the program doesn't crash as much (Sibelius 7 crashed ALL THE TIME). But so far, so good in the couple weeks I've been using it.
Composition/arranging/songwriting: Now, as far as composing and arranging goes, I've done several brass quintet pieces to include a hymn called Abide With Me and one I'm working on now that is inspired by the theme for a certain espionage favorite (for which I'm still working on a name). I've also done some stuff for show bands; mostly adding horn parts to older stuff (ie: China Grove, Born to be Wild, etc.).
To expand my compositional vocabulary, I've begun experimenting with dub step and electronica elements, possibly in combination with more classical pieces (a la Two Steps From Hell) or just for the sake the genre and having stand-alone tunes. I started writing a couple possible concert band pieces based on a couple different movies (more on that process) which I use as a baseline/template/inspiration. They're coming slowly, but I'm being a little more meticulous because there are specific stories behind each. Those pieces will be completed somewhere by the end of 2014 or beginning of 2015.
Additionally, I have been playing guitar more frequently and I'm picking up pieces of old songs that I started writing years ago with the intent of finishing them and creating new songs. I definitely don't have the chops anymore but it gives a different elements of composition (read: songwriting) that I do enjoy very much.
Locally, because of my associate AJ Rasure, I'm getting involved in photography commercials and advertisements (specifically with the Fredericksburg Photography Academy) and hopefully it will be a lasting relationship. Contributed to an advertisement and seconds-long teaser for a series of photography classes for which I wrote a theme for (same link that's on my Facebook page).
So there's a lot of things going on with the business. I look forward to also making some new connections via local musicians and organizations in the coming years.
Here's the shameless plug: if you like my compositions and arrangements, please share my Facebook page, my blog, my website, whatever you'd like, with friends and family. I would greatly appreciate it. And as always, if anyone knows any high schools of colleges that would benefit from some original concert or jazz band music, send them my way.