“We Are Stars” for Band with GCVI

I am so excited to share that my oldest published piece of music, We Are Stars, is being transcribed for band and will get a premiere from the Guelph Collegiate Vocational Institute Senior Symphonic Band, under the direction of Mr. Dan Austin.

Dan has been a champion of my music for some time now, particularly Filum Vitae, my first published band piece. He’s shared performances of his groups playing it online, shared it with me, and talked to me about the work at length. I am particularly grateful for people like him who actively share music they love because it really, really helps composers. It’s also authentic – he doesn’t share what he doesn’t like, but he boosts musical work he believes in and so many of these great experiences are grounded in giving his students an enriching musical experience.

That’s how this premiere came to be. He had just finished playing Filum at the Golden Horseshoe Music Festival in 2022 and we had talked about it, and I know that he particularly likes the feel of that piece, so we looked at what else we could do. The only other music that I have in that flavour is my choral music (and Filum began its life as a choral piece, so there’s that DNA in the music), especially We Are Stars. So I pitched it to him that maybe we could put a band transcription of that together and the enthusiastically agreed.

Here’s what I wrote about it in a social media post as I was sharing the announcement:

“The cat is out of the bag 😊 My oldest published piece of music, “We Are Stars” for SATB choir and piano is getting a band transcription, and Dan Austin and the GCVI Senior Symphonic Band is the premiering ensemble.

This piece is super important to me. It went through TWELVE drafts to get to the finish line at Cypress Choral Music in Vancouver and get into print. I remember getting the email from Larry Nickel with its approval and thinking “am I actually going to be able to do this?” Almost ten years later – yes, yes I am. 😊

There’s also a whole spirituality-related part of this piece that I won’t get into here, but needless to say, it came at a critical part of my own messy late-20s, so this piece is so important to me and I can’t wait for it to find a new home in the concert band!”

Now, to actually write the thing! It will be ready for the 2023-24 school year, so that’s exciting!

Onward and upward,

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