Originally posted on 4/18/14
Every year at Western Michigan University, the music program hosts a large music conference. The conference lasts all day and includes performances from guest high school bands, faculty ensembles, and an honors band. There is also a prominent guest composer present each year. In the past, composers such as Ticheli, Whitacre, Holsinger and Hazo have been the guest composer. This year it was my favorite modern composer John Mackey.
When I first heard about it, I was so excited to go, mostly because John Mackey would be there. The university symphonic band was going to play one of Mackey’s newest works, The Frozen Cathedral. No way was I going to pass up an opportunity to play in a great honors band and meet Mackey.
I sent in an audition CD. I played the first movement from Lunde’s saxophone sonata. It is a beautiful piece, but it is not well known. It was composed during the same time period as the famous saxophone sonata by Creston, and so it was neglected because the Creston was thought to be better. Anyway, I was lucky enough to get first chair!
It was an amazing day. I got home at about 11:30 and I had to get up early the next day for Quiz Bowl state championships. Good times.
Special thanks to my mother and my band director for taking these photos.