USA East Music BULLETIN - WINTER 2019/20 - ISSUE 4 - Page 8

composERS FORUm 2020 By Edward Mylechreest, Regional Music Director, GNY JANUARY 16-19, 2020 — The Eastern Territory was well represented this year at the North American Composers’ Forum, with seven delegates and two faculty members, Dr. Dorothy Gates (THQ) and DMD Gavin Whitehouse (Pendel). This biannual event brings Salvationist composers together in a time of learning, fellowship and music making. The weekend is divided into times of private tutorials as well as united sessions. We were given the opportunity to work with David Catherwood, William Himes, Stephen Bulla, Ralph Pearce, Nick Simmons-Smith, Gavin Whitehouse, Kevin Larsson, Andrew Wainwright, Michael Stayner and, our very own, Dr. Dorothy Gates in the private tutorial times. They were so generous with their time, knowledge and expertise, each offering helpful hints and tips as to how to improve our compositions. The united sessions offered a chance for communal learning. William Himes and Dr. Harold Burgmayer led these two sessions, The Composer’s Process, and Color and Texture in the Brass Band. Hearing these two great composers offer their thoughts on these topics was invaluable. There were also breakout sessions, where we would have to make a choice as to what session to attend. Having to make the choice from breakout topics such as, Tips for Arranging (Dr. Dorothy Gates), Writing Effective Piano Accompaniments (Rachel Ewing), Writing Singable Melodies (David Catherwood), How NOT to Submit Your Music (Marty Thomas), was by far the hardest part of the weekend! One of the highlights of the forum of course is hearing your pieces played live for the first time. This year we were blessed to have two territorial groups perform our work, the Chicago Staff Band and the newly formed Central Territory Staff Songsters. These two phenomenal groups did a fine job of sight- reading our music, some of which was quite literally hot off the printer! Katelyn Knickerbocker (MASS.) had two lovely pieces performed on the Friday evening, Sa Diyos and Starlight. Her DMD, Matt Luhn (MASS.), also had a stirring piece performed, which for now must remain a 8 • USA EAST MUSIC BULLETIN | W I N T E R 2019/20 secret . . . but this beautiful piece will be sure to tug on heart strings soon. Jelani Weekes (Western Penn.) kicked off the proceedings for the Saturday playthrough with the CSB, with two exciting pieces, the up- tempo O Praise Him and the glorious Fanfare on Duke Street. Jelani was also on hand to play percussion for the weekend and made a fine impression on the kit when needed. Alex Dressler (NJ) brought a funky arrangement of the worship song Ain’t No Rock, complete with some rhythmic changes that wouldn’t be out of place for a Snarky Puppy tune. Lost Time by Christian Mendoza (Pendel) was a stunning change of pace in the afternoon. So much of the music that was premiered for band this weekend was up tempo, but here we had a refined reflective piece of original music, reminiscent of the movie scores of Hans Zimmer. DMD Simon Morton (NJ) brought with him two very exciting Latin American inspired pieces, En Los Montes and Que Maravilla, which both proved popular with band and audience alike. CONTINUED >>> W W W. M U S I C . S A CO N N E C T S . O R G