Monthly Archives: January 2012

Brass Quintet

At the very end of first semester — in fact half of it was over winter break — I wrote a brass quintet. It is titled The Pealing Bells because it is meant to evoke a sense of the semi-random ringing of a set of bells. The work is for three trumpets, trombone, and bass trombone, and is completely aleatoric. Aleatoric music is music which is determined by chance. In other words, rather than telling the performers exactly what and when to play notes, I gave them a general Continue reading →

Saxophone Quartet

For the majority of this semester, I was working on a piece for saxophone quartet. The piece was written in a Neoclassical style. It uses modern harmonies but is organized in a Classical style. It is in two movements, and is my longest work to date, being approximately twelve minutes in duration. The first movement is slow, quiet, and hymn-like. The movement introduces the atonality of the piece, presented in a homophonic texture imitating a hymn, though with changing meters. The movement highlights chords which Continue reading →


On April 21 at 7:00 in Urness Recital Hall I will be giving a full composition recital. The program will include an aleatoric fanfare for brass quintet titled The Pealing Bells which I just finished a few days ago, an atonal saxophone quartet titled Sonata Agitata which is a work in two movements, the latter being in Sonata form (despite being atonal), O Cool is the Valley Now, a setting of James Joyce’s poem of the same name for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, trumpet, and piano, Four Bagatelles for Clarinet and Piano, Continue reading →

MMEA Composition Contest

Back in June I put two compositions in the mail, sending them in for the MMEA Collegiate Composition Contest. Surprisingly this is the first composition contest I’ve ever entered. The first composition I sent is O Cool is the Valley Now which was performed in April for the Chamber Ensemble category. The other composition I sent in is Sonatina for Clarinet and Piano, a newly revised version of my Three Short Pieces for Clarinet and Piano, in the Solo Instrument category. I decided that rather than calling them separate short Continue reading →


Last year I came up with a new type of harmonic organization in music that I have named tetramodality. As the name suggests, it involves the blending of four modes, though of course this method could end up being trimodality or bimodality, as well.  In other words, a generic term might be polymodality. The inspiration for polymodality originally came from the technique of planing. For those who don’t know what planing is, it is a technique in which a series of harmonies are sounded such that they move in perfect Continue reading →


Greetings, everybody. I would like to welcome you to my blog. This is where I will keep you up to date on my compositions and will probably make other updates about other random things related to music. Hopefully a good, fun time for all.