I received word last week that my piece "Foreign Lands" (2-part treble choir and piano) will be published by Alfred Music in their 2015 release. I am BEYOND excited. (If you'd like to hear a recording of the piece, performed by a school choir, click over to my music page and take a listen).
I'm thrilled that Alfred will be publishing my first piece -- my connection to them goes back some 20 years, to when I was a high school freshman at a summer show choir camp. It was there that I first met Sally Albrecht and Jay Althouse, who were the powerhouse team behind Alfred's choral division at the time. I was blown away by Sally's incredible musicianship, infectious enthusiasm, and her attention to performance details. Jay was incredibly well-versed in pop music styles across multiple genres, and that left a deep impression on me as well. I may have walked into that camp feeling a little unsure about show choir, but I left there with a drive to become a better performer, and a lot of new musical tools at my disposal.
My own high school teacher, Andy Beck, had been a studio singer for Alfred for years, and it was through his influence that I was honored to join the ranks of Alfred's studio singers, first as a substitute, and then as a regular. Being in a studio with 5-9 other incredible singers, with a huge stack of octavos to record over the course of a weekend really drove home to me the importance of having sharp sight-reading and musicianship skills, as well as the importance of creating a good ensemble sound. It was INCREDIBLY intimidating when I started, but the rest of the singers could not have been more gracious or welcoming to me. Standing at a mic singing with this group was like the world's best voice lesson.
For the past year, I've also been doing some proofing and editing for Alfred under the umbrella of my business, Forte Music Publishing. Proofing taught me a lot about the engraving process, and about what makes a score easily readable and digestible to the eye. It also gave me a lot of working examples of what Alfred was looking for, in terms of submissions.
When I first started writing choral music a year ago, my goal was just to get someone (anyone!) to be willing to sing through it. To be able to share that music on a larger scale with the world through publishing is a blessing I doubted would ever come. I have always believed that every choir, no matter whether it's composed of seasoned professionals or of absolute beginners, deserves good music to sing. I spend a great deal of effort selecting texts that are personally moving, and writing music that is pleasing to the ear, and yet accessible to most musicians. More or less, I try to write music that I would want my own choir to sing, and that would be a satisfying musical experience for singer and listener alike.
I am so grateful to Alfred for extending me this opportunity to send my music out into the world, and hope it will be the beginning of a long and fruitful partnership. I'll be sure to let you know when it's in print!