I’ve held off on the official announcement of this until everything was scheduled: I’ll be in residence at Ucross in Clearmont, WY from August 31 to September 25 this Fall.

In early 2008, I finished work on Ricky Ian Gordon’s website, and Ricky sent out a mass email announcing the completion of the project. One of the recipients of the email happened to be the president of the colony (Ricky is a regular visitor to Ucross, and composed the bulk of his recent opera The Grapes of Wrath there), who in turn looked at my website and noticed that I’d been in residency at the VCCA in March 2007. We began a brief correspondence, the result of which was an invitation to spend some time in the colony’s newest addition, a second composer’s studio.

Of course, I was overjoyed to be invited, and we tried to set up a time when I could come out for a month or so, but we discovered that the colony’s residency season didn’t jibe with my Fall school schedule unless my professors allowed me to miss a full month’s worth of classes. Fat chance of that! So we decided to postpone until Fall 2009.

We talked again in January, and discussed some potential residency dates. Just yesterday, I got word that the dates I requested were approved (they apparently had been months ago, but emails got lost in inboxes etc, as happens often in life), so in late August, I’ll be off to Wyoming!

I expect that while I’m in residence, I’ll work on an orchestral piece. I’m often (insert adverb here) reminded that my catalog lacks a work for orchestra, at which I roll my eyes, and say, “I know, I know! Sheesh!” (But the reasons for all this are best left for another post on another day.) So let it be known here and now that I intend to have an orchestral work in my catalog by the end of the year – probably by the end of September.

Travel will be interesting (and none too cheap, incidentally!). Apparently, I’ll have a layover in Denver, where I hop onto a tiny plane to Sheridan, WY. I had a similar travel plan on my way to the VCCA, where I flew to Charlotte, NC and boarded a teensy plane – the kind where you actually walk out onto the runway, and there are only 12 seats! As soon as I sat down on the plane, I whipped out my cell and called home, “It has a propeller!”

And because I’ve – save for a brief trip into Iowa ages ago – never been west of the Mississippi (it would be poetic and satisfying to say that this is because I’m an East Coast, effete blah blah blah, except that I spent the first 22 years of my life in the cornfields of Illinois, so bang goes that idea!), I figure that since my residency ends on a Friday, and I’m flying into Denver anyway, I’ll spend a long weekend poking around the Mile High City, seeing the sights and hearing the sounds. Any great events going on in late September that I should know about?