It’s coming up on two years now, since I took over as the mid-day host at WCNY. A lot has happened, and I thought it was probably a good time to sit down for a bit and take stock of how things are going.
I walk into the radio station every morning with a smile on my face. I get to run my grubby little hands through literally hundreds of thousands of recordings, spanning more than 600 years of music, and share that with our listeners every single day! How amazing is that? Every time I turn on the microphone, I think of the listener who has essentially invited me into their life for a bit. We get to share this experience of music together.
I’m also having a blast with interviews. I’m averaging an interview a week, many of them including performances. (I just had the entire cast from the Syracuse Summer Theatre in the studios last week!) I’ve talked to local and national musicians and presenters, and folks are regularly telling me how much they appreciate the time I spend with them. I’m also running the board and co-hosting two shows with Leo Rayhill at the station, a Classic Sinatra show, and Leo Rayhill’s Sounds of Jazz. Leo is incredible! At nearly 90 years old, he has the most amazing collection of music and stories spanning decades of broadcasting. It is an honor and priviledge to spend a couple of hours with him every week.
I’m getting lots of new music music in every week, and I take an hour of air time every Thursday to play from those new CDs, usually before they’ve even been entered into our database. And my own music collection is growing by leaps and bounds, as I keep buying new pieces to use for Feminine Fusion, the weekly program highlighting the accomplishments of women in the classical music world. It’s hard to believe that I’m just a few short weeks away from the one-year anniversary of that program.
On the compositional front, this has been a particularly good time as well. I transcribed (with a bit of arranging) J.C. Dist, the piece by Jelle Hogenhuis for contrabass flute and flute choir. And I got to play the solo part for the premiere with the Central New York Flute Choir – what a blast! I also finished up “Dreamcatcher,” a trombone concerto that Haim Avitsur recorded for his newest CD release, Neue Kraft Fühlend. I spent President’s Day skyping to Moscow for the recording session, with Ovidiu Marinescu conducting the New Russia State Symphony Orchestra. I just got my copies of the CD about a week ago, and I am absolutely thrilled with the final product. But the compositions don’t stop there! I finally had my chance to expand “Woman A/Part” to a full 8-minute piece, which Trio Casals premiered last week. That is slated to be recorded in October, and will be released next May on the Navona label on the third CD in the Moto series.
Wait! There’s more? Yes, there is! I’m currently working on a flute trio (untitled at the moment) that we expect to include on the upcoming Samba Laranja CD, due out within the next year as well. We recorded several pieces for that CD this past spring, and will be recording the rest of it this fall.
All in all, a pretty good couple of years. If I’m honest, though, I will admit that getting up and going to work for someone else 5 days a week is not my favorite thing to do. I miss the flexibility of having composing be my only real commitment, and being able to stay up until the wee small hours of the morning working on music. Frankly, balancing composing, rehearsing and performing, errands, household chores, and recreation with the time spent at the radio station can be a challenge. But the pros definitely outweigh the cons, and I hope I can continue to lead this wonderful and very full life for many years to come.
So, dear readers, that hopefully brings you up to date on my most recent adventures. Over the next several months I hope to highlight some of my works here, and give you some insights into how they came to be. Keep your eyes out for that, and don’t forget to visit my website, Facebook page, or the “Buy CDs” page on this blog as well.