This is my musical portfolio, a selection of the works I’ve written. For the most part, pieces found here are ones that have been performed, but, of course, I’ve written numerous pieces that have not been played publicly. I’ve attempted to categorize everything as either Jazz, Experimental, Church Music, or Traditional (with “Traditional” referring more to form that anything else).
Here is the video of my senior recital at Bethany Lutheran College, which I performed with my then-fiancée/now-wife, Anna. The program order can be viewed here.
Selections I composed during my first semester at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Fall 2017) can be viewed here.
Jazzburger is a suite of six original, fully arranged Jazz Band charts in a variety of styles that I wrote to familiarize myself with jazz composition. I was honored to have the entire six-piece set performed as part of the Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) Jazz Band’s 2016 Tour program and at my senior recital on April 2, 2016.
- “Made To Order” (Fall 2014) is a typical, Big Band-style swing piece that was written with the BLC Jazz Band in mind (hence “Made To Order”). It includes a catchy melody, a bass-and-drums breakdown, and a saxophone soli. This piece was performed at the BLC 2015 New Music Recital and on the BLC Jazz Band 2015 and 2016 Spring Tours. (Score, Video)
- “Medium Well” (Winter 2015) is a fast-paced tune with a steady rock beat and a solo section that allows for quick, flashy solos or long-form improvisation. This piece was premiered at the BLC Jazz Band’s April 2015 concert. (Score, Video)
- “Iceberg Lettuce” (Spring 2015) is a ballad-like piece in 6/8 that plays with extreme dynamic changes and interesting chords. It includes written solos for alto saxophone and trumpet. This piece was performed at the BLC Jazz Band’s October 2015 concert. (Score, Video)
- “American, Swiss, and Blue” (Spring 2015) is like a suite within a suite. It features three distinct sections of varying styles: a mournful trumpet intro, a poppy piano rhythm, and a big, loud, whirling, full-band refrain. This piece was premiered as part of the BLC Jazz Band 2016 Tour. (Score)
- “Pretzel Bread” (Summer 2015) is a funky rock piece with several different melodies throughout, including a swing section. This piece was premiered as part of the BLC Jazz Band 2016 Tour. (Score)
- “To Go” (Spring 2015) is a fun, raucous, celebratory farewell to the listener that features interwoven trumpet and sax melodies, as well as a part for a singer. This piece was premiered as part of the BLC Jazz Band 2016 Tour. (Score)
“Yes, And” (Winter 2016) is a simple, pop-sounding arrangement for a saxophone-led combo. When it was premiered at the BLC 2016 New Music Recital, there was an emphasis on improvised solos. The version at my April 2, 2016, senior recital was more straightforward, with flute playing the melody. (Score)
“The Spotlight Blues” (Spring 2016) is a swing/blues tune with plenty of room for soloing, premiered at my senior recital by the BLC Jazz Band on April 2, 2016.
“The North American” (Winter 2016) started life as an arrangement for Pep Band, as evidenced by its upbeat tempo and loud volume. After some re-shuffling of parts and the addition of a piano part, the BLC Jazz Band premiered this piece at their Spring 2016 concert.
Taking a step back from the painstaking attention-to-detail involved with the ten fully arranged Jazz Band scores I composed during my last two years of college, I wrote a simple lead sheet called “Figure It Out.” Bass Clef, Bb, C, and Eb lead sheets are posted here, and my recording can be heard here.
“Days Are Passing, Times Are Fleeting” (Fall 2012) was my first hymn tune and arrangement and the one of which I am most proud. It is a powerful melody in the style of Reformation-Era hymns. It was performed at BLC’s 2013 New Music Recital. (Score, Video) I have also written an arrangement for brass that was performed at BLC’s Instrumental Festival in December 2015 and as a chapel postlude on December 15, 2015. (22:54 in this video)
“Arm These Thy Soldiers, Mighty Lord” (Fall 2013) is a hymn tune and arrangement that was performed at the BLC 2014 New Music Recital. (Score)
“Consolation – Bicinium” (Fall 2014) is a two-voice organ piece based on the hymn melody commonly associated with “The King Shall Come” that began as an assignment for Counterpoint class. After the class ended, I continued to refine the piece, and it was eventually played as pre-service music for a BLC Advent chapel service. (Score)
“God Be Praised” (Spring 2015) is a piano-and-voice setting of Psalm 150. This composition was performed at the dedication service for the new grand piano in BLC’s Trinity Chapel in April 2015. (Score)
“In the Days of Persecution” (Fall 2015) was my first attempt at creating an original text to go along with a hymn tune and arrangement. The text is based on Psalm 140, and the hymn was premiered at the BLC 2016 New Music Recital. (Score, Video)
“How Long, Lord, How Long?” (Winter 2016) is a piano-and-voice setting of Psalm 6, a Lenten psalm. This composition was performed at the February 26, 2016, BLC chapel service. (Score, 4:35 in this video)
Various Themes for…
- “Various Themes for Flute and Guitar” (Fall 2013) is a fairly traditional-sounding piece that transitions between several different melodies. This was performed at BLC’s 2014 New Music Recital and my senior recital in April 2016. (Score)
- “Various Themes for Trombone and Amplified Ukulele” (Fall 2014) was an attempt to take the concept behind “Various Themes for Flute and Guitar” and apply it to a less traditional instrument combination. The result is a distinctive, interesting, sometimes brash/sometimes dance-like work that was performed to a very intrigued crowd at BLC’s 2015 New Music Recital. (Score)
- “Various Themes for Oboe and Alto Saxophone” (Fall 2015) completes the “Various Themes” trilogy with the most unlikely instrument combination yet. The different melodies explore everything from traditional counterpoint to whole tone scales. This was performed at the BLC 2016 New Music Recital. (Score)
10 Folk Sonnets (Spring 2015) is another work inspired by my Shakespeare class. Each of the ten sonnets includes a melody that follows the standard, syllabic rules of Shakespearean sonnets (fourteen 10-syllable lines), and each piece utilizes a different instrument, including trombone, harmonica, and string bass, always accompanied by folk guitar. I also made lo-fi recordings of each piece, in an attempt to recreate the sound of authentic field recordings. (Trombone, Vibraphone, and Harmonica scores)
After a summer of absorbing Sousa marches, I wrote “The Old Main March” for Concert Band. It is the most large-scale composition of mine to actually be performed. It was played by the BLC Concert Band as pre-service music at May Commencement in 2016.
Antarctic Souvenir is a piece for piano and electronics that was premiered by pianist Ann Yi at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee on April 14, 2018.
“Q Equals” (Winter 2015) is a unique composition in which the tempo speeds up one beat-per-minute with each consecutive beat of the piece. I’ve already blogged about this piece in an effort to explain it.
“One Last Tweet” (Summer 2015) was based on a disjunct, at times atonal, predetermined bass line that was itself based on a Tweet of mine. This piece has also been explained with a blog post.
“Orville Redenbacher’s Dream” (Spring 2015) is an experimental composition, the rhythm of which imitates the sound of popping popcorn kernels. Here is a blog post explaining how I wrote it.
The above three pieces are from an album of semi-aleatoric experimental music called Staying In (completed Fall 2015), all of which can be heard and is further explained here.
A is for Avant-Garde is a piece for piano and speaker (with a short ukulele section) that presents different styles of avant-garde music in the format of a tongue-in-cheek children’s book. (Excerpt)
I will keep this list updated regularly, posting new projects as I finish them, and adding video/audio to old projects as they become available. And, of course, I have a Soundcloud page where I occasionally upload less “serious” compositions. I have recently begun limiting this portfolio to (for the most part) works of mine that have actually been publicly performed, so I, of course, have a substantial amount of work not posted here.