This past weekend I had performances in Los Angeles and Kansas City, and got to go to both, and let me tell you, touring is sweet! I should explain that these were my first two full blown professional concerts in the US, and both were premieres. On Saturday ensembleGreen gave the US premiere of my trio Gare D’Arras at the Pasadena Conservatory. It was programmed alongside the Emerson movement of Ives’s Concord Sonata. There were a few friends and a few other composers from around town who I like a lot, and it was a really fun evening. Then on Sunday the Kansas City Chorale gave the world premiere of my choral piece Elevation Morceau. This is more the tour part of the entry, because off to Kansas I went!
Because I wanted to go to both concerts, I took an early morning direct flight on Sunday out to KC. I absolutely hate flying, and I more or less absolutely hate waking up early, so it wasn’t the greatest start to my day. I had expected the weather there to be in the 50s, and it was in the low 30s when we landed, so that didn’t help much. The concert was set for 2 pm and my flight landed at 12:30, so I had to take a cab to get from the airport to the concert hall. I was impressed by how much space there is in the midwest…that ride in from the airport was, well, pretty non-noteworthy.
Once I arrived, however, everything looked up and stayed up for the rest of the trip! Charles Bruffy, their conductor, gave me a big hug when I walked in for their dress rehearsal. The hall filled up…there were probably like 500 people there, which is about 450 more than have ever come to one of my concerts before, as far as I’m aware. When it came time for Elevation Morceau the chorale seriously rocked it (that was the best performance of one of my pieces, hands down), and the crowd really dug it. I had a little line of people asking for autographs and who wanted to ask about the piece! How cool is that?
After the concert one of the tenors, Sam Anderson, took me to stay at his place for the evening. It was a really cool apartment overlooking a river, in a part of town called the Plaza. Shortly thereafter Charles picked me up for dinner at one of their donor’s houses, where we had an awesome navy bean soup, and I met one of the other composers from the concert, Gregory Gagnon. Greg’s music is sweet, and we totally hit it off, and he took me to a bar afterwards that had beer from Boulevard Brewery, the local, on tap. They do an absolutely awesome Irish Ale, and I’m pleased to say that between Greg, Charles, Don Lancasty (the executive director of KCC), and a bunch of people who gave hugs, I feel like I’ve made some good friends in Kansas and hope to go back sometime.
I’m not going to lie, I like this being a composer thing.