Gorgeous waterfalls in Sweden!
"Change of Heart" (May, 2015)
MAYO Youth Symphony of Bloomington, IN
Director Lauren Bernofsky
I've obviously lost track of my memories, seeing that my last log of them was in 2018. Perhaps it's a side effect of getting older! There have been so many changes, thanks to the pandemic shake-up and crazy developments in the musical industry. I used to have one publisher at a time, and now I'm juggling several at the same time! But creativity by its very nature is a metamorphic process and nothing remains the same. Thank you for joining me on this wild, fulfilling journey. Someday my memories will catch up with me!
Every year deserves at least one paragraph of reflection amidst all the action of living! You might think I’m getting used to this by now. Nope. Never. Every new assignment is completely unique, and of course, the best part is the cool human beings I get to befriend. My musical tribe. You know who you are!
Highlights of 2018? I loved working directly with hundreds of students across the country, performing Rossi pieces and composing their own originals! As a side note, I was shocked to realize that several pieces I wrote almost 30 years ago are still alive and kicking. Now that’s a musical miracle! I adored my composition residency by the gorgeous beaches of San Luis Obispo and the amazing Festival for Creative Pianists in Denver. Series #1 of Wednesdays with Wynn-Anne took off on the internet, calling me back to the Alfred Recording Studios to tape 18 new episodes. Buffalo, Boston, Burlington. Sacramento, Seattle, St. Louis. The jazz museum and beautiful fountains of Kansas City!
The musical experience is far from fixed. It is in a constant state of becoming new. As am I. As are the students. As are you. Cheers to the adventure ahead for all of us!
Amazing adventures ruled in 2017! I've been contemplating how this musical journey is a tender balance between in-reach and out-reach. In-reach includes moments of in-breath as I compose and draw inspiration from nature and personal experience. Outreach is sharing music and inspiration with others!
Composition residencies blossomed this year, working with diverse students in Salt Lake City, UT (MUNDI Project) and talented teachers in San Luis Obispo, CA (TeVelde Music Conservatory). An unexpected delight in June was being judge for the Festival for Creative Pianists in Denver! Imagine experiencing spontaneous student improvisations in every musical style! The Luebke String Festival was a fantastic Fall adventure, encouraging original compositions with string students of every level alongside an incredibly talented faculty.
I will never forget Sweden in October, working with the students of BIRKA, thanks to my dear friend, Stephanie Wendt. Nor will I forget petting the wild reindeer!!!
I continue this musical journey with YOU at my side. Thank you for all your support and encouragement, honoring what I do best.
Many of you don’t know that I’m a sailor. I did a lot of it when I was a kid and even have an old trophy to prove it. I often think of life in terms of the wind. 2016 was blessed with swift, steady winds. Each month held a musical adventure of some sort, beginning in January as guest composer for the UTEP Piano Competition. Ongoing workshops whisked me from the Northeast to the Southwest, and I experienced incredible, meaningful performances of Rossi compositions. And 2016 was a year of jazz! I spent a spectacular birthday in New Orleans with Greg and Nick, and my “Jazzin’ Americana” 4-book series was released by Alfred Music in November.
Heartfelt thanks go out to Dena at UTEP, Ivory in NOLA, Diane for my final Ramsey residency, Annie of OMTA and pianist Roger McVey for touring around the world with my “Theme and Ten Variations”. There are so many more ...
As I look ahead to 2017, intuition points me toward strong, shifting winds. For a sailor, this can be exciting. It’s all about respecting nature and enjoying the ride. Cheers!
This is IT. This is the life I have been working towards for ... decades? And I feel like I'm still revving up my engines! My adventurous travel streak continues with festivals, camps and workshops up, down and all around the United States. Honestly, it is overwhelming to realize all that managed to take place in just one year. I am so thankful for all of you who value what I do. Even more, I am thankful for the meaningful relationships that develop in this life. For now, I will simply list a few of the highlights that brought spark to 2015!
MAYO String Orchestra: session/perfomance in Bloomington, IN
MTNA National Conference: 2 sessions in Las Vegas, NV
Ramsey Junior High Orchestra: composition residency in St. Paul, MN
Adopted Composer w/commission: WSU in Pullman, WA
Adopted Composer w/commission: Linda Kennedy Studio in Maumelle, AK
PSU Monster Festivals: guest composer/conductor in Plymouth, NH
MacPhail Suzuki Institute: composition camp in Minneapolis, MN
Alfred Workshop Tours: 3 tours ranging from coast to coast
Linda Luebke String Festival: composition instructor in Terre Haute, IN
WSMTA: 25th Anniversary performance in Minnetonka, MN
NJMTA Convention: creative session and master class in Princeton, NJ
J.W.Pepper: composer interview and recording sessions in Philadelphia, PA
Salon Society: presentation on my journey as a composer in St. Paul, MN
There are so many people to thank. You know who you are! We are more connected as human beings, and life is far more beautiful, thanks to the transformative power of music.
An amazing year of travel! I hit so many states, I lost count. Was it 13? Highlights began at the MTNA National Convention where I was the commissioned composer of the year. The premiere of “Skyscraper” for clarinet, sax and piano was packed with people, including dear friends, and the performers exceeded expectations. In May, I was moved by the experience of going to Langdon, ND for a Latin Lights Festival where I worked with students playing music from my Musica Latina series and enjoyed the premiere of “Tango Lights Celebration”. The festival involved dancing, making instruments, tasting Latin food and most of all, musical connection at a very deep level. During my Alfred workshop tours in August, I met so many amazing teachers and drove for my first time on the gorgeous Blue Ridge Parkway. In November, I flew to Sacramento and stayed in the home of a top notch teacher who set the stage for a top notch, intimate teacher workshop. Pinch me. Is this someone else’s life?