New Band Commission, part 1: An idea

Updated: Jan 3

I got a commission to write a piece for the Bristow Middle School Band in West Hartford, and since part of the grant that supports the commission is about sharing the creative process with the students, I decided to keep a blog about the creation of the piece. Here are the entries for the very beginning of the process!

Thursday, September 16, 2021

I got a call from Cliff Schofer today asking if I’d be interested in working on a project with his middle school band. He wants to apply for a grant from the Foundation for West Hartford Public Schools to bring me in to work with his students and compose a piece for them. Part of his vision is that because women are so underrepresented among composers for band (composers in general, really), it would be great to give his students an example of a female composer, and to contribute a new piece to the middle school band repertoire. I remember a few years ago he was a fan of “Over the Wire,” which I wrote for the middle school regional band, and he ended up programming it for his 8th grade band. The idea for this project is that I would come work with his students, talk to them about the creative process, and maybe give them an alternate idea of what a composer can look like. It’s been a while since I wrote for band (this year was fairly slow in terms of composing in general—only two complete pieces in all of 2021 so far!) so this would be fun, but we won’t know if we got the grant until mid-November and he’d want his students to start working on the piece in January, so the turnaround time would be pretty quick! Of course, I tend to be a little more focused when I’m under time pressure, and if there was no deadline it would probably take me forever to get started. Hoping we get the grant!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Heard back from Cliff that he finished writing the grant proposal and had a couple colleagues look at it. He said they had no suggestions, which worried him a little bit! He also said he changed the proposal a little bit based on the online form, so it’s less about me being a woman composer and more about sharing the creative process with the kids as a local, living composer. He also said he’d want to involve more than just the band kids at the school, so the project impacts more kids. The application is all submitted, so now we wait!

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