Fantasy On An Old English Air.
My Dorian Haiku (Grade 2, Alfred) will be one of five featured pieces performed by the award-winning Illiana Christian School Wind Ensemble (Lansing, Illinois), Patricia Menninga, Conductor as part of Robert Sheldon's session, "The Small School Band," at the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago. The session is 10:30-11:30 am, Thursday, December 17, 2015 (McCormick Place, Room W183).
So pleased to be invited by Dr. Peter Boonshadft to guest conduct my Aquatica (Alfred, Grade 4), at his Band Director's Academy during the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Conference in Nashville, TN.
As part of the Composers & Schools in Concert consortium commission, I'll be conducting a series of "Meet the Composer" sessions - many via Skype but also face to face - with the bands/directors for whom I am writing the new piece. Here are those scheduled at this time:
- Wilson-West Lawn (PA) Symphonic Band, David Cooper, Director (10/8/15)
- Bangor Area (PA) Senior High Symphonic Band, Eric Hahn, Director (10/22/15)
- East Stroudsburg Area-South (PA) Senior High Symphonic Band, Katye Clogg, Director (10/26/15)
- Plymouth State University (NH) Wind Ensemble, Mark Stickney, Director (10/28/22)
- Orange County (CA) School for the Arts Wind Ensemble, Teren Shaffer, Director (10/29/15)
- Hollidaysburg (PA) Senior High Symphonic Band, Scott Sheehan, Director (11/16/15)
Honored to have my concert band piece, Der Erlkonig (Alfred, Grade 2), selected for inclusion on the 2015 Bandworld Top 100 listing. The piece will be read at the Western International Band Clinic this Nov. in Seatle, WA.
This November (2015) I'll be one of two guest conductors at the All New England Band Festival, hosted by Dr. Mark Stickney at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. I'll be working with the Concert Band (alongside Dr. Jack Stamp, who will be guest conducting the festival Symphonic Band) at this one-day honor band festival. Here's the festival Concert Band program I will conduct:
I'll also be guest conducting my own, Aquatica (Alfred), with the Plymouth State University Wind Ensemble as part of the festival concert. I'm looking forward to a great time of music making in New England this November!
- Jubilant Flourishes, Travis Weller (FJH)
- Fantasy On An Old English Air, Scott Watson (Hal Leonard)
- Aesop's Fables, Scott Watson (Alfred)
I will be doing two presentations this Oct. at the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) National In-Service Conference ("Empower Creativity") in Nashville, TN. My own session, "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity," will share ways to draw out student's authentic creativity in meaningful activities/projects (Sun., Oct. 25, 2:00). Also, I'll be guest conducting my piece, Aquatica (Grade 4, Alfred), as part of the reading session for Peter Boonshaft's Tuesday morning Band Director Academy (Oct. 27). I hope you'll join me if you're in Nashville for the conference!
My piece, Awake the Iron (Grade 1.5, Alfred Publications), will be performed on the program at the PMEA District 10 Elementary Band Festival (May 2016), under the baton of guest conductor, Mr. Ronald Demkee.
The Parkland School District (Allentown, PA) selected me and 14 colleagues to receive the Parkland Pride Award, given by our Superintendent to outstanding district staff and volunteers. This was the first year the award has been given. You can learn more HERE.
The Magic Valley Symphony, Twin Falls, Idaho, has commissioned me to create a work for full orchestra to premiere at their November 11, 2016 concert. This major work, about 12 minutes in length, will be an orchestral re-working of my earlier piece, Magic Valley, composed a few years back (and published by Alfred) for the Twin Falls Municipal Band as part of an American Music Center Continental Harmony Commission to celebrate the centennial of the town of Twin Falls, ID.
I was invited by Philadelphia's science museum, The Franklin Institute, to serve on a special Advisory Board to help develop an upcoming exhibit on music and the brain. It will be called, ThinkMusic and should be really cool! The small advisory board - which met for the first time this month (July 2015) - consists of some really interesting, creative folks - two from the Curtis Institute, one from University of Pennsylvania, one from Drexel University, one from Cornell University - and me! You can read more here and look for the exhibit to open in 2017.
I'm excited to share my new 2015 concert band releases! Four new pieces have been published by Alfred: Der Erlkonig (Grade 2, J.W. Pepper Editors Choice), O Happy Day (Grade 1.5), Secret Agent Sugar Plum (Grade 1.5) and Super Hero (Grade 1, J.W. Pepper Editors Choice). Two more pieces will be published by TRN later this year: Silent Night, Holy Night (Grade 1) and Morning Star (Grade 1.5). All are, or will be, available at the J.W. Pepper website. CLICK HERE to hear full recordings of all six pieces in a SoundCloud playlist! I hope you can check them out and consider them when programming for your band!
I'll be presenting a wide-ranging, but relevant session entitled, "What's Hot in Music Ed Tech and Teaching Music in the Cloud," at the Conn-Selmer East Clinic hosted by North Penn High School, Lansdale, PA on June 20. For session notes, CLICK HERE.
The group, Composers and Schools in Concert (CSIC) has organized a nationwide consortium to commission me to write a new Grade 4-5 work which will be premiered by a dozen school ensembles in the Spring of 2016. To learn more about the consortium project, and the schools involved, CLICK HERE.
Check out my article, "Fun and Games with Young Instrumentalists," on the SmartMusic blog (April 2015).
Honored to have my El Cid, Dorian Haiku, and Call to Valor guest conducted by friend and fellow composer, Robert Sheldon, for several of his elementary and middle school honor band festival appearances this spring, including the ASBA All-Star Honor Band in Arkansas.
Honored to have the Temple University Symphonic Band, Dr. Matt Brunner, Conductor, perform my Fantasy On An Old English Air on Sunday, April 26, 2015 in the Temple Performing Arts Center.
The Shepherd Middle School Band, Ottawa, IL premiered my new work, Race Car, under the baton of their director, Ms. Donna Martin in April. The piece was commissioned to honor the career of Ms. Martin who will be retiring at the end of the school year. I'm very proud of exciting, auto-racing themed music and that it could be used to cap off Ms. Martin's highly regarded career in Ottawa, IL. Look for the piece to be released as part of Alfred's Young Symphonic Series in late spring 2016. For news about the premiere, click here.
The program for the Pennsylvania Music Educators District 10 Intermediate Band Festival, guest conducted by Mr. Frank Parker, will include my El Cid. The concert is April 10, 2015 at Freedom High School, Bethlehem, PA.
I'm honored to be guest conducting the Bristol Township School District Middle School Honor Band Festival on March 27-28, 2015 at the Ben Franklin Freshman Academy (Bristol Township School District) in Levittown, PA.
I'll be guest conducting the Washington County (Maryland) Elementary Honors Band this February 17, 2015 at North Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown, MD.
Two holiday/seasonal pieces of mine for young band, Silent Night, Holy Night and Morning Star, have recently been accepted for publication by TRN Music Publisher. We should be seeing these pieces released by late next summer in time to program for the 2015 winter concert season. I'm proud to have my music in the TRN catalog - a great company that carries fine music!
I've been commissioned by the New Holland Band, one of the oldest community bands in the nation, to create a transcription/arrangement of the Doppler Rigoletto-Fantaisie. The original, for two solo flutes and piano, will be expanded to solo flutes, piano, and concert band, but will be abridged in length. The premiere of this adaptation will be this June at Gretna Theatre, Mt. Gretna, PA featuring my wife, Kimberly, and daughter, Abigail, as flute soloists and my son, Benjamin, on piano!
I've been asked to serve as part of PMEA's Model Curriculum Committee and will be meeting with them in State College, PA on Jan. 3, 2015 for our first session, where we'll work to integrate several recent educational initiatives (new NAfME Standards, Student Learning Objectives, 21st-Century Learning, etc.) into a K-12 Music Curriculum that can serve as a model around the state.
This month (Dec. 2014) I had the privilege of guest conducting the Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church adult choir in a performance of my What Child Is This? (SATB, piano, solo flute) during a Sunday worship service. My wife, Kimberly, was flute soloist.
My new work for solo flute and piano, Bolt Out of the Blue, was premiered by my daughter, Abigail (flute) and son, Benjamin (piano) on Nov. 15, 2014 at Ware Family Recital Hall (Swope Music Building) at West Chester University. Click here to see a video of their fine performance!
Thrilled with the news that my El Cid (Alfred, Grade 2) will be performed by the Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble (Orange County School for the Arts) this December at the 2014 Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago, IL! If you're in Chicago for the conference, please stop by the Alfred Publications booth on the vendor floor and say hello.
Some good press for my upcoming Allentown Band performance of Aesop's Fables at Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, PA on Nov. 5: WFMZ TV Blog and Allentown Morning Call newspaper.
I couldn't be more happy to have had three recent concert band works reviewed in the last three issues of The Instrumentalist magazine (Dorian Haiku, Aug. 2014; Aquatica, Oct. 2014; and El Cid, Nov. 2014). You can read major excerpts from all three reviews at the REVIEWS area of this website (click here). You can hear full recordings and, if interested, purchase these selections via J.W. Pepper and other music retailers.
The Illinois Music Educators Association District 6 Junior Band, John Korak, guest conductor, will perform my "Thrills and Trills!" march (Alfred, Grade 2.5) on Nov. 1 at Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville, IL.
I've been invited to be a part of Composers and Schools In Concert, an organization that pairs composers with school music programs. I'm looking forward to new opportunities to work with student musicians and their directors via CSIC!
In just a few weeks on Nov. 5, The Allentown Band (Ron Demkee, Conductor) will perform my Aesop's Fables for hundreds of area students and the general public for their Youth Concerts (three performances) at Allentown Symphony Hall. The performance will be augmented by choreographed dance provided by Allentown's own Repertory Dance Theater!
On Saturday, October 4, 2014 I will be a featured presenter at the Pennsylvania College Music Educators Association (PCMEA) Region 3 Music Education Conference at Penn State University. I'll be presenting two sessions to pre-service and in-service teachers: "What's New? Current Trends in Music Education Technology," and "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity." I'm looking forward to being in State College, PA again and meeting new and old friends!
The start of school is just around the corner! As you consider which music to place on the stands of your band students, please check out my August 2014 new music update, listing new releases since last year. There's something for everybody! If you're interested in seeing ONLY my most popular and recent winter/holiday music for young band, then click here.
If you do perform something I've written, I'd love to hear from you about how the music was received. Drop me an email!
I'll be composer-in-residence with MusicAlliance Summer Honor Band Camp (Cleveland, OH) from June 18-20, 2014, rehearsing and conducting the premieres of two new works. The piece for the "upper band" is Der Erlkonig and the piece for the "lower" band is Super Hero. Both commissions and the residency were made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. I'm looking forward to meeting new friends in Ohio, working with these student musicians, and introducing these two new works for band!
On Thurs., July 10, at Plymouth State University my music will be included in the Grade 3-5 Reading Session at the New England Band Directors Institute. Many thanks to Dr. Mark Stickney who will lead the session, for including my music!
I've been commissioned by the Shepherd Middle School Band, Donna Martin, Director, in Ottawa, IL to write a new piece to be premiered at their May, 2015 Spring Concert. This is an honor since Ms. Martin is retiring after a long, successful career in Ottawa and this will be her final concert with the Shepherd Middle School Band.
My piece, Aquatica will be played by the Lehigh County Honor Band on Sat., Feb. 1, 2014 at Northwestern Lehigh High School (New Triploi, PA). This piece will be published by Alfred during Summer 2014 - can't wait to share this exciting new work!
I'll be presenting a workshop, Tips on Interviewing, to Music Ed majors at Cairn University (Langhorne, PA) on Sat., 2/1/2014.
The nation's oldest community band, The Allentown Band, Ron Demkee, Conductor, will be performing my four movement work for narrator and band, Aesop's Fables, for their Fall 2014 children's concerts in a number of school districts. This is just about my favorite piece in my catalog and the Allentown Band is a first rate ensemble - so honored! Even better, this performance will be augmented by choreographed dance provided by Allentown's own Repertory Dance Theater!
I've posted information on courses I'll be teaching this summer here: watsonmusic.wikispaces.com. Courses are offered by Villanova University, Central Connecticut State University, and Valley Forge Christian College - follow the link for contact/registration information. I'll also be Composer-in-Residence and Guest Conductor for the Music Alliance Summer Honor Band Camp, Cleveland, OH. A new course at Central Connecticut State Univ. this year is Composing and Arranging for School Bands (see video below). Please share with colleagues who may be interested - thanks!
I'll be guest conductor for the PMEA District 10 Elementary Band at their festival on April 11, 2014. The event, hosted by Northampton Area School District, Ryan Mertz and J.J. Sansone, host directors, is shaping up to be a great one! My program includes: Anthem of An Era (FJH) by Tyler Grant, Hercules vs. the Hydra (Alfred) by Scott Watson, O Waly, Waly (Alfred) arr. Doug Wagner, Legend of the Alhambra (Alfred) by Mark Williams, Bluesville (Hal Leonard) by Eric Osterling, and Activity March (Carl Fisher) by Harold Bennett/arr. Larry Clark. The combined band and orchestra finale will be an arrangement of the Strauss Radetsky March created by PMEA colleague, Ron DeGrandis. I'm honored to play a part and look forward to spending the day with all my PMEA 10 friends and their students!
In January (1/17/2014), I'll be the guest conductor for the "Chester County BandFest" (PMEA 12 Intermediate) at Octorara High School (Theresa Sundwall, Host). I look forward to being with these PMEA District 12 students and directors for the one day festival. I'll be using my Alfred publication, Call of Valor, to start the program.
I'll be heading to Chicago for the Midwest Clinic Dec. 18-20, 2013. This is a great conference for instrumental music teachers. In addition to attending workshops and concerts I'll be spending time at the Alfred Publications booth on the vendor floor. If you're at Midwest, please stop by and say "hi"!
Excited to be Skyping into rehearsal with the Ephrata (PA) High School Concert Band, Scott Fairchild, Director, on Dec. 17, 2013. They're performing my Night Journey in an upcoming concert. I'll be coaching them on performing this piece, plus taking questions from students about my music and work as a composer. Can't wait!
Just released! Flourish On An Easter Hymntune (Grade 4 concert band) is now available from TRN Music Publisher. I'm so thrilled to see this exciting piece in print! If you program this work, please do let me know.
Music Alliance has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to commissioned me to write two new concert band works for their summer honor band camp, to take place the week of June 16, 2014 in the Cleveland, OH metropolitan area. I'll be composer-in-residence during the week, rehearsing the camp's junior and senior bands and guest conducting the premieres in a concert on Saturday, June 21, 2014. I'm honored to receive this commission and excited about this collaborative project with MusicAlliance!
Upcoming workshops/clinics include: August 2013 - Wilson SD Music Dept. (West Lawn, PA), "Current Trends in Music Ed Technology" and "Finale for Music Educators" and Northampton SD Music Dept. (Northampton, PA), "GarageBand in Music Education" and Villanova University A capella Choir students, "Recording with GarageBand"; October 2013 - Northampton SD Music Dept. (again!), "Finale for Music Educators"; Feb. 2014 - Cairn University Church Music Conference (Langhorne, PA), "Finale for the Church Musician," and "Electronic Keyboard Primer."
As the 2012-13 publication cycle winds down, I've already begun work on new pieces for 2013-14. I'll be posting info and sound clips here in the months ahead on new works including: For TRN Publishing: an exhilarating Grade 4.5 hymn fantasy; for Alfred Publishing: an exciting grade 3 overture, several grade 2 pieces for the Challenger Series, and a grade 1 piece for the Debut Series; and two pieces for Wingert-Jones: an exciting grade 1.5 Hanukkah selection, and a grade 1 light classical holiday transcription. Stay tuned!
In the 2013-14 school year I'll be doing a commissioned work and guest conducting for the Conestoga Valley School District (Lancaster area, PA). The new work, to be composed for their district's 6th grade band, will be premiered April 2014 in a district-wide concert with me guest conducting featuring performances of my music by their bands at each level. I'm honored to be chosen for this opportunity by the directors of the Conestoga Valley School District and look forward to working with their beginning, intermediate level, and high school bands!
I always do a number of summer music education courses for several universities, and this summer is no different. Click here to check out my diverse summer offerings (instrumental music, music education technology, and composition) and follow the links if interested in attending. It's always great to have friends/colleagues join us for these relevant courses.
I'll be doing a full day GarageBand workshop in August 2013 at Villanova University with Villanova acapella chorus students, sharing ways this versatile program can help them with recording and arranging music. More info when day/date/location is chosen.
So pleased to be working with my friends in the Wilson-West Lawn (Reading, PA) School District on August 8, 2013 for a full-day workshop on using technology in music education. During this professional development day I'll be demonstrating great ways to use both Finale (music notation software) and GarageBand (entry-level digital audio workstation) for the Wilson music staff and students.
The Morning Call newspaper ran a nice story on one of my recent projects - a commission for a concert band piece to honor the memory of a beloved educator/musician. Click here for the article. The piece, Aquatica, will be published by Alfred in 2014.
I'll be guest conducting the Zephyr Elementary School 5th Grade Band, Rick Hilborn, Director, in their performance of my piece, Slam Jam!, at their concert on February 20, 2013 at Whitehall High School, Whitehall, PA. Looking forward to being with a great elementary band and their fine director!
I'll be a keynote speaker for the 2013 Music Technology in Education Conference (MTEC) in Melbourne, Australia, April 8-10. I'll be talking about the topic of my book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity, as well presenting a few hands-on sessions. For information, click here. I can't wait to go "down under" to share with and learn from tech-savvy music educators from around the world!
On Sat., March 23 I'll be presenting a 2 hour workshop, "Composing and Arranging for Band," to music education majors, as well as area in-service educators, at Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA). The session is 1:00-3:00 p.m. in Peter Hall.
On Tues. night, March 19 at 7:00 p.m., I'll be serving as Mentor/Facilitator for a session on creative musical activities/projects in general/elective music classes in the PMEA Webinar Series, "Music Education for the 21st Century." Click here for more info and/or to register.
Looking forward to Skyping with Mr. Kris Nygard and his band in the Fleetwood (PA) School District, on Monday, Jan. 7, 2012. The ensemble will be performing my Appalachian Hoedown in an upcoming concert.
On Friday, February 1, I'll serve as guest conductor for the PMEA District 10 Intermediate Band Festival at Saucon Valley High School (Saucon Valley, PA), Mrs. Carol Free, Host. I'm really looking forward to this concert, which I'm dubbing "Scott Watson and Friends"! On the program I'll feature a few of my own works, plus those of some composer friends. Here's the repertoire:
1) Air Force One, by Chris Bernotas
2) A West Highland Fanfare, by Travis Weller
3) Shenandoah, by Robert Sheldon
4) Tu Ungane, by Scott Watson
5) Thrills and Trills!, by Scott Watson
6) Fanfare and Fireworks, by Brian Balmages
I would have loved to included even more music by some other very fine composer friends, but there's only so much I could program -- maybe next time!
Thanks to Kent White, Instrumental Music Specialist at Stanton's Sheet Music, for including my concert march, Thrills and Trills! at the Capital University Wind Band Invitational and Concert Band Reading Session on November 16-17, 2012.
Thanks to Dr. Herbert Marshall for including my composition, Awake the Iron, as part of the Baldwin-Wallace College New Horizons "Bronze" Concert Band on Dec. 12, 2012 (7:00 p.m.) in Gamble Auditorium (96 Front Street, Berea, OH).
My concert band composition, Call to Valor, was performed as part of the Reinhardt University Middle School Honor Band Clinic at Reinhardt University (Waleska, GA) on November 2-3, 2012, Robert Sheldon, Guest Conductor.
PMEA is launching a "webinar" series with topical online presentations about once a month throughout the school year. I'll be presenting some great ideas for general music classroom creative activities/projects that use technology in March - click here for more info.
I've been commissioned by the Salisbury High School Band (Allentown, PA), Rachel Reinecke, Director, to write a work for Spring 2013 in memory of former Salisbury School District superintendent, Robert Gross. Bob was Rachel's high school band director (in her words, "the reason I became a music teacher") and a former colleague and friend of mine so I'm honored to be involved in this project.
I've been asked to be a keynote speaker at the 3rd Music Technology in Education Conference (MTEC) in Melbourne, Australia, April 8-10, 2013. I'll be talking about the topic of my book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity as well presenting a few hands-on sessions. For information, when available, click here. Can't wait to go "down under"!
Here are some exciting events where you can find me in the months ahead:
- I'll be delivering the keynote address, and several sessions, to several hundred attendees at the PMEA District 7 In-Service Workshop in Harrisburg, PA (Central Dauphin East High School) on October 8, 2012.
- I was commissioned jointly by the Derry Township and Hollidaysburg Area School Districts to write a piece for their 6th Grade Bands. I'll be doing a "Meet the Composer" teleconference via Skype with each band during the late fall (2012).
- I'll be guest conducting the PMEA District 10 Intermediate Band Feb. 1 (Saucon Valley Middle School) and am looking forward to programming some of my own compositions, as well as those of a few composer friends (Bob Sheldon, Chris Bernotas, Travis Weller). Info, when available, here.