When was July 4th? Same time as last year? When did that happen? I guess I am in a “summer daze”…

To all my band director friends and colleagues, I hope you are enjoying a great summer – time to refresh and refocus. Before long many of us (including yours truly) will be back into marching band camps and rehearsals. Just around the next corner a new year begins and our concert bands begin.

If you have not received the mailing from Wingert-Jones, I am pleased to release two new mid-level works for band this year. With so many good choices out there for young band, I would take a moment to encourage directors and colleagues alike to consider The Rising Kingdom (an excellent work for contest or festival) or Sugar Plum Samba (a new setting of a holiday classic) for their groups next year. The Rising Kingdom is programmatic in nature telling the story of the rise to power of a medieval realm against tyrannical forces. Sugar Plum Samba is a allows your the ensemble to experience a new twist (heavy on the Lime & Paprika) on a very familiar holiday tune. The percussion will enjoy getting to be heavily involved with a variety of Latin percussion toys throughout the piece!

I am continually humbled by the warm reception that pieces like American Visions, Irish Jig for Young Feet, and The Last Stagecoach Heist continue to receive. I would also suggest to directors and colleagues alike to check out Moravian Dance (ideal for HS Groups to close a concert), Journey to the Prairie (wonderful programmatic work), I Bought Me a Band (great for recruitment concerts), and Yankee Fanfare (a delightful patriotic contribution!).

As the year begins in just a few short weeks, I take a minute to encourage fellow directors, colleagues, and friends to give their bands and students the best possible chance to experience musical success this year. Great things can happen for our students individually and as a group when they are given good music, good instruction, and are encouraged to be something greater than they can be by themselves.

I thank you for your continued support and encouragement. I am humbled by the fact many of you deem my music worthy to share with your students, and I hope through the process of studying and performing them it has made your band members stronger musicians and people. If you are going to perform one of my works at any point during the last year, please take a minute to register your students performance with me! If the schedules would work out, I would enjoy the opportunity to visit with them via Skype!

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