Blogging the 2011 ACO Composer Readings: Wrap Up

It’s been a little more than 24 hours since the 2011 ACO JCOI readings ended. Astonishing that it’s come and gone just like that, but there it is. Here’s a brief wrap-up of the final day’s events.

Having pretty much collapsed into bed the night before, I wrote a draft of an errata sheet for the orchestra on the train from south Brooklyn up to 116th and Broadway yesterday morning. The trip gave me about an hour to re-read my notes from the previous day’s rehearsal and comb my score for the changes I wanted to hear. At 10:00 am, over coffee, bagels and fruit we had an opportunity to discuss our errata sheets with the mentor composers and ACO personnel. After checking a few things, I emailed the errata sheet to the orchestra librarian. From 11-12:30 we all discussed aesthetics and reflected on the work we’d done. I met up with my family who’d come from out-of-town to hear the readings from 1-5, then headed back for our final meetings with Maestro Manahan. The conductor and I went over the changes I’d made, and then I hoped to catch some of the mentors as well to discuss my piece one-on-one; happily I did. I ended up having very fruitful discussions with Anthony Davis, George Lewis, and Derek Bermel, all of whom were immensely helpful. I am so grateful for their guidance, and I also owe particular gratitude to Tania León, who was my mentor during the year as I worked. Her perspective and suggestions were prescient and spot-on. Thank you fellow composers Mark Helias, Adam Jenkins, Erica Lindsay, Nicole Mitchell, Rufus Reid, Jacob Sacks, and Marianne Trudel for your collegiality and creative spirits! Thank you American Composers Orchestra for one of the seminal experiences of my artistic life thus far.

Amongst the greatest gifts of these last few days arrives in the mail in a week or so; a recording of the reading last night! I can’t wait to listen back to it, over and over and over again.

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