Date of Submission

Spring 2013

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Erica Lindsay

Abstract/Artist's Statement

For my first senior concert I preformed 7 original pieces that I wrote and rehearsed this semester. I have been writing jazz music since freshman year and have been exploring different styles in an attempt to find my own unique sound. With this concert I am continuing this exploration and hope that I have come a little closer to expressing myself through my music. The first song, which has the same title as the concert, is a bit of a joke because I usually take things pretty lightly. With the second song, however, the subject material gets a little heavier. It is about an accident that happened last year that has had a lasting effect on my life. The third song comes out of “in the Canyon” and serves as the resolution to the aforementioned crisis. Poinsettia is an exploration of what I can do with a larger horn section. It was an interesting process for me because once I heard it with the full band it took a completely different turn than I had originally intended and became more intense. After Poinsettia, I slow it down a little with a quiet ballad I wrote for Flugelhorn. It is meant to offset the speed and volume of the other pieces. I wanted to switch it up because I have a lot of medium tempo tunes and also make good use of the flugel. Bet You Never Leave is a hopeful tune that I wrote about a new relationship and the last song is a Taj Mahal song that I thought would be a good cap to my concert.

In my second concert I tried to use the lessons I learned from listening to the recording of my first concert and hearing the advice my board gave me to make my composition style better and improve my playing. In this concert I took a few risks such as writing for a larger ensemble, working with a singer, and writing songs in styles I was not formerly familiar with. The best example of this is “I’m Gonna’ Be Honest”. This was a big risk for me and I had no idea if it was going to work or not. The song is based on music from Zimbabwe that I had just gotten into in March and featured rhythms and harmonies that I have never used before. This song turned out to be a huge success and has inspired me to continue to expand my horizons.

There is no overarching theme to the shows. I just wanted to write music that would highlight my talents and those of the people playing with me but also push my limits both in playing and in composition. Hopefully I can impart some of the emotions I feel when playing these tunes to my audience.

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