Rise, My Love

Later this month, the wonderful Cheah Chan Duo will be performing “John Anderson, My Jo” from And He’ll Be Mine, and I’m incredibly excited! Their program, titled “Rise, My Love”, is a celebration of LGBT composers and poets, and it sure to be a real treat. Their programming is always interesting, eclectic, and provocative, and this concert is sure to be no exception.

Read their press release here.


An Upcoming Concert: 2/18/14

That Dare Not Speak: Love Songs by Gay American Composers
The Duplex Cabaret Theatre
61 Christopher St ( @7th Ave ), NYC
Tuesday, February 18, 2014
7:00pm
Program is approx. 1 hr.

$12 + 2 drink minimum (sodas count)

Come join me and pianist Marc Peloquin for this post-Valentine’s Day concert of love songs by David Del Tredici, Chester Biscardi, Darien Shulman, Zachary Wadsworth, and yours truly!

Be sure to make your reservation here, as seating is limited! http://bit.ly/1iDYPhT

The Composers Now Festival celebrates living composers, the diversity of their voices and the significance of their musical contributions to our society. During the month of February, the Festival brings together dozens of performances presented by venues, ensembles, orchestras, opera companies, dance companies and many other innovative events throughout New York City. Experience the sounds and get to know the creators behind the music. From jazz to indie, from classical to electronic and beyond, join us on a sonic journey through the landscape of the arts of our time. Composers will be in attendance at all events and will be interacting with audiences. Composers Now is a project partner of The Fund for the City of New York. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the ASCAP Foundation, the Cheswatyr Foundation and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation.


And He’ll Be Mine, arranged

Last week I finished arranging And He’ll Be Mine for Cory Davis to premiere next month at the Oklahoma Arts Institute. It was both a much harder and much easier task than I expected – I had forgotten how spare much of the cycle is, which meant working a lot harder in some sections, and breezing through others.

I’m really looking forward to having the piece performed. I’ve wanted to arrange one of my cycles for years, and I’m anxious to hear it finally done!

I don’t have the full performance details yet, so stay tuned!


“The Gallant Weaver” for Choir

This evening I started a new arrangement of “The Gallant Weaver” for SATB choir and piano. The reason? There’s a choral composition competition (say that ten times fast) that I’d like to enter, and the deadline is Friday. I’ve been hemming and hawing over texts for ages, and this afternoon after a very busy day at the day job where I didn’t choose a text like I’d half-planned to do (“Look it up while you’re at work, instead of doing your work! Brought to you by the Internet Foundation.”), I decided to make life a little easier on myself and just arrange something from my existing catalog. “The Gallant Weaver” is ripe for the picking in this respect, and also happens to be one of my favorites of my own songs (don’t tell the others, though – we don’t want them getting jealous…).

So after a little walk in this beautiful warm weather, I dove into the arrangement and am already at the halfway mark. I should be able to finish the arrangement Wednesday evening, which makes me incredibly happy. It’s nice to add a new piece to my catalog, and to do it so quickly!

I’d have it done tomorrow, except that I’m meeting with Jeff Algera to make the final arrangements for the Tobenski-Algera Concert Series, which is effectively finished. However, part of our meeting is to deal with the funds leftover from our semi-season last year so that I can start a new series in the coming months very much like the T-A Concerts. The reason for the dissolution of the Series is that Jeff and his wife are moving to California next month, which will make continuing the Concerts in their current form very difficult. Obviously, Copland and Sessions managed to do it via post in the early ’30s while the latter lived in Paris, and it’s infinitely easier to communicate via Skype, but it’s time to change things up a bit, and Jeff’s life will certainly be taken up for quite a while with setting up his new life and web business on the West Coast.

I don’t normally write pieces specifically for competitions. In fact, I usually avoid those that require an unperformed, unpublished piece because I have so few of those. And as a self-published composer, I honestly can’t say that I have any unpublished pieces. As soon as I finish something, I slap the Tobenski Music Press logo on it, and throw it on my site and the NewMusicShelf. Everything I write is immediately considered to be published. But it’s not published by a “legacy publisher” (a nice term I came across to describe traditional publishers), which is certainly what is meant by the “no publication” rule. No danger of that ever happening – I don’t want a “legacy publisher”! (More on that some other time.) My other point of “meh”-ness is that the piece can’t be performed in the meantime, or submitted anywhere else. So, until August when the award winners are announced, this arrangement, which I’m so far very happy with, has to sit on my hard drive and twiddle its thumbs. But I guarantee that even though I can’t do anything with it in the meantime, it will be ready to go for the instant that the announcements are made. Of course, I’m certainly hoping that it has to sit on the shelf for another few months because it’s won the award and needs to be premiered by this organization!

Fingers crossed!