I'm so thrilled to announce the release of my second book "Boo and His Amazing Bells." This book for young children follows Boo as he discovers handbells and the joy ringing brings to his life. The idea for "Boo" has been ruminating for several years. Finally, this spring, it came to fruition!
After completing the initial draft of the text I worked with my good friend Tachi Dellinger to get just the right illustrations utilizing her wonderful watercolor gifts. Once we had worked and reworked and edited and re-edited, we were finally ready for some professional design.
We reached out to Christine Long again (she designed "Ringing Deeply") and she put her magical touches on compiling the whole book. I'm really please with how it turned out. You can check out our "Boo" page and order your copies there. These are a great way to introduce children and grandchildren to the wonderful world of handbell ringing!
This summer was crazy busy. Lots of great opportunities and new relationships formed. I completed two commissions, one for a Minister of Music who was preparing for retirement and one for Charlotte Bronze, Timothy Waugh, Artistic Director and conductor. Both of these will be available in the next year or two. One has already been picked up by a publisher.
This summer brought the release of "Ringing Deeply" a book of devotions for ringers and directors. This labor of love was two years in the making and has been well-received. It is already in its second printing. This book is available here on this site, through Jeffers, Heitz Handbells, and directly from me! I had the privilege of leading handbell conferences this summer at LutherRidge, Massanetta Springs, and St. Olaf (see pictures below).
I have also begun releasing some of my own music through a new venture titled "Bellissimo Press" These titles will range from solo and ensemble bell music, full bell choir, and some other interesting new formats. I am excited to see how this new line of music does.
Whats coming up next? I have several bell workshops scheduled this fall, and in the spring, have three different conferences on the docket, plus I will be serving as Associate Conductor for Distinctly Bronze West in Oregon. It's been a big year and am looking forward to some new opportunities in the year to come!
It has been a wonderful year, filled with changes and excitment. In the past 14 months, Keely and I have both changed jobs, we have moved twice, both of our children have graduated (one from Chapel Hill and the other from High School), sent one off to college and have furneished and renovated our new home. See below for pictures of my newly renovated composition and teaching studio.
During this time, I have had the privilege of completing multiple commissions, directed many handbell festivals and tuaght 5 different workshops. Additionally, I have written 10 new works and have worked to establish a new studio of music students in our community.
Keely and I love where we live, our new neighbors, and look forward to making our life count here in Charlotte, NC.
I continue to be active in working with, composing for and conducting handbells. I worked with a great group of youth for the NC Baptist State Youth Bell Festival in February. One of the most attentive groups I have ever worked with...what a joy!
Two more commissions for solo bells with piano have been completed in the past moth. Both look to be excellent pieces, although they are quite different in style and form, texture and intent. I look forward to hearing them premiered in the very near future!
We are looking forward to conducting in Roanoke next month for the Area 3 festival there, as well as several smaller guest conducting opportunities. Also hoping for a bit of downtime this summer to get caught up on some other writing projects that have been waiting in the wings for sometime now.
Thanks for checking in with me. Let me know when you have some of my music programmed and where and how it is being used!
This year is flying by at the speed of sound! In the last two months, I have finished up three commissions, getting me caught up (for now!) on projects promised to others. One of these has already been accepted for future publication and the other two are pending! Another of my compositions from last year has been released this past Fall from Alfred. Check it out when you get a chance!
In addition to the commissions, I have done some revising and updating of a few unpublished works for children's choirs and am getting these ready for publishers' reviews.
February is a busy month that includes teaching for the AREA 1 Director's Conference in Amherst, MA and directing the NC Baptist Youth Handbell Festival and a concert with the Queen City Ringers among other things.
I'm excited to be writing on a regular basis and looking forward to getting caught up on several personal projects in the upcoming months. Stay tuned to see what's coming up next.
Our new year at FBC, Mt Holly is about to begin again. With that new beginning comes many changes this year. We say goodbye to our friend Mary Lowder and wish her well as she heads to UT at San Antonio. Mary has been the best accompanist, organist, and collaborator in worship at FBC. Two weeks ago, I completed a piano commission from our Sanctuary Choir in Mary's honor.
I still have three more commissions on the books for the next 2 months and am eager to move ahead with them and see how they turn out. I have also begun to do more engraving work in recent weeks. I had forgotten how much I enjoy this work and will look for more opportunities to explore that role.
We welcome Cathy Yeh as our new Organist and accompanist. I look forward to collaborating with her in the years ahead.
Our many handbell groups at First Baptist are already rehearsing and off to a great start. It's going to be a terrific year! I look forward to hearing from you!
Genesis, the Youth Choir at First Baptist Church in Mt Holly premiered "Cantate Domino" in morning worship yesterday. This choral anthem was commissioned by the choir in the fall of 2013. The 30 member youth choir worked on their own to raise the funds for the commission, which were, in turn, donated to their summer fundraiser efforts. Genesis will include this new anthem as part of their repertoire in their choir tour to Nashville, TN this summer.
I am honored to have been commissioned to write this for a special group of singers. Now turning my attention to working on a choral work and two instrumental commissions. Busy, busy, busy....
For the last several months, I have been working feverishly attempting to get caught up on my commission schedule. To date, I have four more to go. As it typically goes with inspiration, when it rains, it pours! That's the great part...ideas coming left and right. The only downside is that most of them, while great for some personal projects I'm wanting to do, are not feasible for the commissions! I'll take it though! The other challenge is getting all the ideas down in a usable format so I can recall them when I actually have time to work on them. Leonard Bernstein once said that greatness requires 2 things: Inspiration and not quite enough time...I believe it!!!
It has been a productive four months! Here are my most recent works completed. Some are commissions, some are not. There are other pieces in various states of completion that I am trying crank out as well. If you are interested in hearing and/or purchasing any of these, let me know!
Hallelujah! What A Savior: Celebrative setting of the Easter Hymn for wind ensemble. (Unpublished)
There Is A Fountain: Arrangement for 3-5 octaves of bells and chimes; Level 3- (Unpublished)
Jesus Loves Me: Arrangement for 3-5 octaves of bells and chimes; Level 2+ (Unpublished)
Fanfare and Recessional: BIG composition for Organ, Bells, Brass, and Percussion (Level 3) (Unpublished)
Cantate Domino: Latin Choral anthem for SATB choir and piano; Easy to learn and fun to sing! (Unpublished)
How Firm A Foundation: 3-5 Octave Setting for Bells; Level 3 (Unpublished)
See what Brian's latest projects are and what he is writing this month!