1983 Masters Degree Project
Masters Degree Project 1981
This composition was started as a brass choir and organ composition for the Los Medanos College Music Dept. John Maltester, Director, Conductor and Jean Shader, Music Faculty (piano, theory and organist) at Los Medanos accepted my composition as a performance piece. While I was studying composition with Dr. Roger Nixon at San Francisco State Univ., he and I went over Moments and started thinking about making it a Symphonic Band Composition and to use that for my final Masters Degree Project. So as time went by and leaving the main components of Moments alone and rewriting and designing certain portions of the composition it soon started to evolve in what it finally ended up being. When I submitted my Score for evaluation, it apparently met the creative and compositional standards and past through the Compositional Dept. with flying colors. As of today, it has not been publicly performed. In fact, until I transcribed the score into Sibelius, 36 years later, I never really heard it! After writing it out in Sibelius and finally listening to it, I did tweak a few parts. What you are hearing is 98.9% of the original score. I found a few notes that I had to fix, included a few passages into other instruments for support, but other than that, it is as it was. If it wasn’t for John Maltester and Jean Shrader’s support and direction during that period of time in my musical life, I’m not sure where I would be. Also, Dr. Roger Nixon was a major icon in the Compositional World and to have the opportunity and chance to study under his guidance was quite intimidating. However, I reached out to Dr. Nixon during my senior year at Ca, State Univ. Hayward. I mustard up enough strength to contact him and the next thing I knew, I was on my way to his home, with all my scores I had previously done (his request), then sitting in his studio, him sitting at the piano with my scores, his red pencil, circling this, circling that, drawing question marks in area of concern, etc.... It was very quite, me sitting there off to the side of the piano as he worked his way through my scores he chose to look at. About 2 hours passed, he puts down his red pencil, look at me and told me he would accept me as a student like while I pursued my Masters Degree. Wow! that was huge and I got so excited about this opportunity. So, form the fall of 1979 to May 1983, I was over at his house once a week during school season absorbing as much as I could and working on “Moments” for Symphonic Band, completed Spring 1983. .............Thank you all !!
After Moments was finished, John Maltester, Director of Music at Los Medanos College, generiously opened his ensemble to perform and record it for me. I believe we recorded in the Fall of 1983 and I sent Dr. Nixon a recording for him to listen to. The recording was orginally done on a Reel to Reel format and later placed on cassett .The letter below, dated Dec. 23, 1983 was Dr. Nixon's response to me regarding Moments.
"Moments" for Symphonic Band