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Category Archives: Outdoor Composition Contest

I hope Scott McKenzie will forgive me for quoting his website on almost every important point here.  He writes with a wonderful sense of humor.  His bio:

Scott McKenzie is a composer, arranger, and conductor currently serving as a band officer in the United States Army.  His oath and personal ethics stipulate that he can’t use his grade or position for personal gain, so that’s all he can say about that.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in music from Virginia Tech and a Master of Music degree in composition from George Mason University, where he was a student of Dr. Glenn Smith and Mark Camphouse. He previously studied music education and conducting at Old Dominion University and the Peabody Conservatory. Prior to doing a crazy thing and enlisting in the Army, he taught band, chorus, and general music at the middle school level for four years.  If you taught middle school general music for any length of time, you might not think joining the Army was that crazy, either.

His Fanfare for Enduring Freedom was a 2007 winner of Dallas Wind Symphony’s ‘Call for Fanfares,’ and most recently, A Summer Breeze was named winner of the 2012 Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest (even  though it was composed almost entirely indoors).

Mr. McKenzie and his wife, Anne, have three children, Jimmy, Colleen, and Allie.  They reside wherever the Army sends them.

As he mentioned above, A Summer Breeze won the Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest, so I will conduct the New York premieres of it with that group this summer.  It is a short overture driven by a spritely 6/8 figure that McKenzie plays with throughout the piece: he spins it out into a dancing theme, then plays it against a more lyrical melody, reminiscent of the final movement of Holst’s Second Suite.  Says McKenzie:

Composed for the U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command Band and premiered during the Independence Day and Change of Command concerts July 3,4, & 5, 2012 with the composer conducting

This piece was composed as a farewell gift to the TRADOC Band at the end of my two-year command.  My goal was simple: to write a short, fun, energetic, tuneful work that an Independence Day audience would enjoy on a first hearing.

As of now, I’ve written two pieces inspired by the seasons.  They are not necessarily intended to be performed together or as a suite, but if you think they’d work together in that fashion, knock yourself out.  The other piece is A Winter Flurry.

McKenzie has a wonderful website and a Soundcloud page with recordings of some of his work.  He was even kind enough to put up a rehearsal recording of A Summer Breeze!  Furthermore, you can look at McKenzie’s description of it on his website (quoted above) and view the full score here.  Finally, the Columbia Summer Winds played it at Central Park, and it sounded like this:

Daniel Kallman is a composer from Minnesota.  He writes music for varied media, including radio, worship, theater, and concerts. He has worked with such luminaries as Garrison Keillor and Philip Brunelle. His music has won him awards and recognition in the US, Europe, and east Asia. His Promenade and Galop was a finalist in the Columbia Summer Winds’s Outdoor Composition Contest.

Kallman has his own extensive website, kallmancreates.com, which features a full catalog of his works and recordings of several of them.

Galop is just one half of the set Promenade and Galop.  It was written on commission for the Hopkins Minnesota High School Wind Ensemble.

Listen to Galop.  Or just look at this video:

Rob Smith (not to be confused with the Jerry Bruckheimer/George W. Bush/most famous mustache of the band world, Robert W. Smith) blends modernism and American pop and jazz idioms in his energetic music. His work is widely recorded and frequently performed throughout the United States and abroad, and his music has won several awards. He is currently an Associate Professor of Composition at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music.

Rob Smith has his very own web domain, robsmithcomposer.com, with much information about himself and his music.

Beacon Fires was a prize-winning runner-up in the 2010 Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest. Smith says the following of his piece:

Beacon Fires was commissioned by Mark Hartman and the Crane Youth Music Wind Ensemble, directed by Brian K. Doyle, for a premiere performance during their 37th season. The work was written in honor of the program’s first three directors, Roy Schaberg, Scott LaVine and Mark Hartman. The title refers to fires that can be seen from a great distance because of their high vantage point – usually a hill or tower. This seems a fitting metaphor for these directors who have served as important role models for our youth. The first movement, Ignite, is dedicated to Roy Schaberg and features Schaberg’s instrument, the horn. Glow, the second movement, is dedicated to Scott LaVine and features the woodwinds and the harp. The third movement, Blaze is dedicated to Mark Hartman and features the trombone, Hartman’s instrument, and the low brass.

Listen to Beacon Fires here.  Or listen to the Columbia Wind Ensemble doing it on October 23, 2011:

Beacon Fires was commissioned by Mark Hartman and the Crane Youth Music Wind Ensemble, directed by Brian K. Doyle, for a premiere performance during their 37th season. The work was written in honor of the program’s first three directors, Roy Schaberg, Scott LaVine and Mark Hartman. The title refers to fires that can be seen from a great distance because of their high vantage point – usually a hill or tower. This seems a fitting metaphor for these directors who have served as important role models for our youth. The first movement, Ignite, is dedicated to Roy Schaberg and features Schaberg’s instrument, the horn. Glow, the second movement, is dedicated to Scott LaVine and features the woodwinds and harp. The third movement, Blaze, is dedicated to Mark Hartman and features the trombone, Hartman’s instrument, and the low brass.

Michael Mogensen (b. 1973) is a composer from Hagerstown, Maryland. His compositions have been played all over the US and the world, and have won him several awards. He is one of the featured composers in volume four of Composers on Composing for Band.

September was written in memory of the events of September 11, 2001. It was a finalist in the Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest.

More info on September is available at C. L. Barnhouse publications. Listen to a partial recording of September here.

Alexandre Travassos is a Brazilian composer.  His compositions have won numerous awards, including the 2002 Penfield/Wegmans Composition Contest for Wind Ensemble Music and the 2010 Columbia Summer Winds Outdoor Composition Contest for Metropolitan Overture (first prize).  His works have been performed all over the world, including at the 2007 Conference of the World Association of Symphonic Bands and Ensembles (WASBE) in Killarney, Ireland.

Below is a performance of Metropolitan Overture by a Brazilian band from 2008: