Well, here we are. New website, new blog, new music... it's more than bit overwhelming. But, as Sondheim wrote in Sunday in the Park with George: "White--a blank page, or canvas. ... So many possibilities." And that's how I feel right now! There are so many possibilities lying ahead at the moment.
I have (sadly) just left my first job as a choir director to go (excitedly) pursue my Master's Degree in Choral Conducting. I first started working at Discovery Canyon four years ago, after graduating from Baylor and moving to Colorado.
I am so upset to be leaving for a lot of reasons. At DCC, I learned all the stuff they don't teach you in college. There was the boring, but necessary stuff: how to file paperwork, how to organize your desk, how to organize the logistics of a concert, how to get a 7th grader to enjoy singing when they'd rather play football, etc. More than that though, I also had the immense pleasure of getting to know an infinite number of incredible kids, and had some of the most wonderful mentors and colleagues that I could have asked for. We made fantastic music together, and I was so proud to call DCC my home. In some ways, I'm sure I always will. There's absolutely no way I could boil down my experience at DCC to two tight little paragraphs (maybe another time we can take a trip down memory lane), but the short version is this: I wanted to stay and really see the program (and my kids) flourish even more, but it also seemed like this really was the time to go back to school to better myself.
Speaking of, I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to be returning to the University level. I always loved being a student, and I'm actually excited to do it again. Researching, writing papers, challenging myself with a variety of new concepts and skills, singing in collegiate ensembles... I feel like this is what I need to reach the next level as a musician. Of course, we'll see how I feel when I reach the end of the program, ha.
Oh, speaking of new beginnings: I have just rebuilt my website from the ground up! I had originally built braedenayres.com in college, as a requirement for a "Music and Technology" class I had taken. As I fell (and that is how the first few years feel, by the way--falling) into teaching, the website sort of went by the wayside, though I continued to compose. I then finally realized it was time to create a "2.0," and I'm fairly pleased with the result.
Also, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised when it came time to upload all my work to this new website. It wasn't until just recently that I got to look at all the music I've composed over the past several years sitting in one place at the same time. It was nice to see all the work I've poured into my composition collected into one place. I'm most excited to say that I have no plans of slowing, either! I have at least 10 new works at various stages of completion, and I'm sketching out new ideas all the time, so there should be lots coming up soon! In fact, I am having my most prolific summer of composition yet.
The thing I am most excited about, at the moment, is that I am getting a major premiere of one of my works, "Journeyman's Song" at the 2015 FLACDA convention. Earlier this year, I sent out some "sample packets" to various directors across the country, and Patrick K. Freer, from Georgia State University, liked what he saw. There are several exciting things about this, but more on that next time. For now, it's late, and I have lots to do tomorrow!