Activities & News
Below is a running listing of concert events, commissions, publications, clinics/workshops, residencies, graduate courses and more....check back often for updates!
I'll be teaching two Summer 2022 grad courses for University of the Arts: "Composing and Arranging for School Band" (July 18-22) and "Rehearsal Strategies and Repertoire for Young Band" (July 25-29) - both offered as 1-week, in-person classes on the campus of Villanova University. For more info: https://www.uarts.edu/sms.
I've been commissioned by the Nazareth Area High School Percussion Ensemble, Mr. Rick Hilborn, Director, to compose a new ensemble work for performance in Spring 2023. Rick is a consummate professional and his award-winning ensembles always deliver outstanding performances. I can't wait to create this new work, and to have the honor of guest conducting it's premiere next spring!
I've been commissioned by the Canon-MacMillan School District to compose a new Grade 1 work for their Districtwide Elementary Band, Mrs. Deanna Grandstaff, Director, in Spring 2023. As part of the project, I'll do a two-day residency, March 1-2, 2023, in which I'll work with Canon-MacMillan Bands at all levels (Elem, MS, HS) performing my music, and guest conduct the premiere of the new work in concert! I'm so excited to be working with Deanna Grandstaff and the Canon-MacMillan band department!
After more than three decades teaching instrumental and elective music in the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA), I'll be retiring in June. I'll miss so many Parkland colleagues who have become dear friends, but I am excited about starting a new professional chapter this fall as I begin my new position as Professor of Music at Cairn University (Langhorne, PA) in Fall 2022.
I've been commissioned by the New Holland Band (New Holland, PA), Dr. Kenneth Laudermilch, music director, to compose original music for the 23-minute long 1921 silent film, THE GOAT, starring Buster Keaton, as well as music for two short scenes from Charlie Chaplin films. The three silent film pieces will be performed live (with films projected) as part of the band's New Year's day 2023 concert event! This is one of the largest-scale projects I've ever been honored/entrusted to create - it's going to be a thrill to see this endeavor come to life!
Alfred Music will be releasing three new concert band works of mine this summer! Look for On This Day Earth Shall Ring (Grade 3, a J.W. Pepper Editor's Choice), Driving Force (Grade 1.5), and Awesome Sauce (Grade 1) on Alfred's website, J.W. Pepper and other retailers. Also, my recent FLEX adaptation of At the Feast of Stephen was named by J.W. Pepper a "Best of FLEX" piece!
I'll be presenting two sessions on band pedagogy at the 95th Annual Iowa Bandmasters Association Conference, May 13-14, 2022 in Des Moines, Iowa: "Selecting Repertoire to Promote a Culture of Excellence," and "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity." Thanks to Alfred Music for sponsoring my sessions!
I - along with friends/colleagues Chris Bernotas, Vince Gassi and Travis Weller - have been invited to present the session, "The Composer's Perspective: Helpful Insights for Interpretation, Rehearsal and Performance," at the 2022 PMEA Annual In-Service Conference, April 6 – 9 at the Kalahari Resort & Conference Center in the Poconos (Pennsylvania).
I am the recipient of the 2022 Phi Beta Mu (Nu Chapter) Outstanding Contributor Award. I'll receive the award at the annual meeting of the Nu Chapter of Phi Beta Mu at the PMEA Annual Conference, Friday, April 8. I'm so honored! About the award: "Phi Beta Mu was founded to promote interest in bands and band music, support the creation of new works in the band repertoire, and provide leadership and mentorship in instrumental music education...Each year, chapters around the world honor individual members and contributors in line with the standards of our founders. The Nu Chapter is delighted to honor Composer, Clinician, Director and Educator Scott Watson with The Nu Chapter Outstanding Contributor Award in 2022. Scott Watson has distinguished himself for outstanding compositions for bands at all levels, providing professional development through work-shops and collegiate teaching, and guest conducting appearances with honor ensembles and school bands. Dr. Watson will become the sixth person from Pennsylvania to receive this award."
This Spring, SmartMusic and Alfred Music will introduce SmartClass - online lessons in SmartMusic delivered by noted clinicians, directors, composers. The very first SmartClass being offered is my very own, Three Game Changers for Achieving a Better Ensemble Sound. Any student or director using SmartMusic can access this 3-week course, which features me giving instruction (via lesson plans/assignments and videos in SmartMusic) for three intermediate band compositions, for FREE!
I'll be presenting a virtual session on Integrating Technology into the Music Curriculum for music education majors and area music teachers for the University of North Carolina at Pembroke on February 14, 2022 (6:30-7:30 p.m.). Thanks to Dr. Michael Alsop for the invitation!
I'll be presenting several sessions as part of the Zeswitz Music Conn-Selmer Workshop on Saturday, February 5 at Central Bucks South High School (Warrington, PA), including: "Traits of An Effective Music Educator"; "Fun and Games in Band and Orchestra: Using Games and Challenges to Motivate Instrumental Students"; "Rehearsal Strategies for Young Band" clinic, working live with Ridley School District Elementary Band, Terri O'Brien and Shana Pistilli, directors; and participation in a panel discussion of Recruitment and Retention (post-COVID).
I was a guest on the Zeswitz Music podcast, Perspectives from the Field, on Jan. 28. Host, Keith Hodgson, and I discussed the topic of "Musical Entrepreneurs." Listen HERE!
I'll be serving again as a judge for the 2022 PMEA Composition Competition. The PMEA Composition Program is open to all PMEA member teachers and their students. The winning works will receive performances at the PMEA State Conference in the Poconos in April.
My adjunct teaching for Spring 2022 includes Composition and Advanced Orchestration for Moravian University and Music Technology for Cairn University.
My Hercules vs. the Hydra (Gr. 1.5, Alfred) was performed by the Combined League Middle School Honor Band on Jan. 10 at the Union Colony Civic Center (Greeley, CO), Kirk Vogel, guest conductor. My Terracotta Warriors (Gr. 2, Alfred) was performed by the Lancaster Lebanon Music Educators Association County Band, Jim Ackerman, guest conductor on Jan. 22 at Conestoga Valley High School (Lancaster, PA).
On Sunday, Nov. 21, I'll be serving as narrator in the Kutztown University Wind Ensemble's performance of my Aesop's Fables (Grade 5, Alfred). Thanks to director, Dr. Dan Neuenschwander, for the invitation! Also, on Thursday, Nov. 11, I'll be on campus to rehearse the band and share some of the inner workings of the piece.
I'll be guest conducting the PMEA District 7 Youth Honors Band Nov. 19-20, 2021 at Manheim Central Middle School in Manheim, PA (Karl Segletes, host). The program included my Escape from Thunder Mountain.
I'll be serving as guest conductor for Middle School Symphonic Band at the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools All-County Honor Band Festival, Nov. 15-16, 2021 (R.J. Reynolds Auditorium, Winston-Salem, NC). I can't wait to get back North Carolina to work with my good friends there! Here's video of the band performing my composition, Capturing the Blue Riband, to open our portion of the concert.
I was asked to host the Alfred Music's Concert Band Virtual Reading Session - reviewing and commenting on Spring Concert/Contest selections (all grade levels) - on the Alfred Concert Band YouTube channel. The video went live on Nov. 10, 2021. I'd be honored if you'd join me as we take a look/listen to some exciting new concert band releases.
My Aesop's Fables (Alfred, Grade 5) for wind ensemble and narrator will be performed by the Sudler-Award-winning Allentown Band, Ron Demkee, Director at their 2021 Youth Concert(s) November 3 at Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown, PA.
My chamber work, John the Baptist, for Flute, Cello, Piano and Narrator was performed on the Allentown Symphony Orchestra's New Music Series on November 2 at 7:00 p.m. at the Allentown Art Museum. Players from the ASO (Allison Kiger, flute; Jameson Platte, cello; and Michael Toth, piano), with Greg Funfgeld as narrator, brought my music - recounting one of the most powerful stories in the Bible - to life! CLICK HERE for SEE/HEAR the performance!
On Wednesday, September 29 I'll be presenting to the Collegiate Chapter of NAfME at Temple University (Philadelphia) on Surviving and Thriving in Music Education. Excited to be sharing with pre-service teachers at my grad school alma mater!
I'm honored to be selected this summer by Buffet-Crampon U.S.A. to serve on their newly formed Educational Advisory Board, alongside esteemed colleagues from the band world Paula Corley (Chair, former Texas Lutheran University), Elva Kay Lance (Mississippi State University), Andy Sealy (Hebron High School, TX), Myra Rhoden (Fayette County High School, GA), and Jasmine Britt (Grand Street Campus High School, NYC). We'll be looking into ways Buffet-Crampon can support K-12 band programs especially as they rebuild from the pandemic. If you have needs/ideas - please send them my way!
In July, I'll be helping with the 2021 Allentown Symphony Orchestra's Summer Composer Workshop, serving as a composer-mentor. To learn more, click here.
Two of my new concert band pieces were featured, and reviewed favorably, on the 2021 Alfred Music Virtual Reading Session (click title for review) - Return to Camelot (Grade 2) and Gift of Hope (Grade 3.5). I hope you'll check them out (and all the great, new Alfred releases) as you consider music for your coming concert/performance year!
I presented a full day professional development workshop for the Upper Merion Area School District (King of Prussia, PA) on June 17, including technology strategies for elementary/general music, uses for notation apps and DAWs, tips/tricks for making better online content, and fostering creativity with K-12 students. Thanks to Upper Merion HS Chorus director, Mr. Brian Horoho for the invitation!
Looking for a curated list of books to refresh and recharge this summer? Check out my article, "A Music Educator's Summer Reading List," on the Alfred Music Blog (published May 15, 2021).
Spring 2021 concert band publications of mine include three new works from Alfred Music: Gift of Hope (Grade 3.5), Return to Camelot (Grade 2) and Stand Tall, Stand Strong (Grade 1.5). Return to Camelot and Stand Tall, Stand Strong have each been named a J.W. Pepper Editor's Choice! Another piece of mine, At the Feast of Stephen FLEX (a flexible instrumentation version of my original setting) was released earlier in the fall.
I'll be the virtual guest conductor/composer for the Zeswitz Music 2021 All-Star Band, an honor band comprised of 5th-through-8th grade instrumentalists nominated by directors whose schools are served by Zeswitz Music (Reading, PA). The virtual ensemble will perform my Escape from Thunder Mountain, with me conducting...virtually! Watch here (click).
East Stroudsburg Area School District (North) for their 2021 Composer/Conductor Series commission and residency. This prestigious annual project of the ESASD involves writing a commission for one of their bands (Lehman Intermediate School), a (virtual) composer residency on March 2, 2021 working with their bands at each level (Elem., MS, HS). In fulfillment of this commission, I composed, Stand Tall, Stand Strong (Gr. 1.5, Alfred Music, coming summer 2021). CLICK HERE for a listing of prior composers chosen for this series. This is my second time writing for the ESASD Composer/Conductor Series and I couldn't be more thrilled!
Available Spring-Summer 2021. I contributed three solo works to Alfred Music's NEW Sound Innovations Soloist Series. Monarch (Grade 3), for solo flute and piano; Mustang Spirit (Grade 2), for solo instrument and piano; and Sur la Glace for Oboe and Piano (Grade 2-3). Each solo is available in SmartMusic or from Totalsheetmusic.com. Solos come with SI Soloist Exercises which help prepare the player, and Sound Advice program notes and rehearsal tips.
In March, I was interviewed on the Flute 360 podcast (Episode 154) by host, Heidi Kay Begay, as part of the podcast's spring Composer Series. Our talk touched on everything from recent projects and compositional process, to teaching during the pandemic and recent reading.
On March 2, I spent the day sharing with members of four band programs in the East Stroudsburg Area School District (North), PA as part of a virtual composer residency. Thanks to band directors Matthew Flicker (6th grade band, 7th-8th grade band) and Paul Bakner (high school band) for being such great virtual hosts and to all their attentive students for their great questions. This activity was part of the larger 2020 Composers Series Commission I received to write a work for Mr. Flicker's band (Stand Tall, Stand Strong, Alfred Gr. 1.5).
On Feb. 24, 2021 (4:00 p.m. Central Time), I presented the webinar, "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity," featuring accessible technology & fun/creative activities to teach/engage students, with special emphasis on remote learning. To register: https://www.alfred.com/events/using-technology-to-unlock-musical-creativity/
On Thur., January 21, I presented a virtual PD clinic, "Best eLearning Practices for Band Directors,” sponsored by Mississippi State University and their local National Band Association chapter.
The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) bestowed on me the 2020 Citation of Excellence Award for PMEA District 10 at a virtual awards ceremony on Dec. 17, 2020. The award goes to "members who have made lasting contributions in their area of teaching."
In Fall 2020, I'll be teaching Technology for Education in Music for Diverse Learners as Adjunct Professor for Cairn University and Composition lessons for as artist-teacher for Moravian College and University of Valley Forge.
I've written pieces for Alfred Music's new Flex Band Series! It was an honor to be in "on the ground floor" of developing this new approach for directors in a time when instrumentation may be both unusual and uncertain. My Flex Band pieces are Escape from Thunder Mountain (Grade 1.5) and Rock Solid (Grade 2).
My article, "Lights, Camera...Learning! Tips for Making Videos for Remote Instruction," appeared on the Alfred Music Blog in July.
This summer (2020), I'll be leading 2 ONLINE grad courses for University of the Arts: Lights, Camera...Learning! Video Projects in Music Education & GarageBand Does It All!
COMPOSE YOURSELF! at SmartMusic.com - My online lesson on Scales & Modes was featured as part of SmartMusic's Compose Yourself! series. From the Compose Yourself! page at SmartMusic.com: "Some of your favorite composers are your substitute teachers! Lessons include listening assignments, a video with the composer, and a composition assignment."
My new compositions published this summer (2020) include: for band - Light Up the Sky (Grade 3, Alfred), Rock Solid (Grade 2, Alfred), Escape From Thunder Mountain (Grade 1.5, Alfred), Kitchen Musicians (Grade 1, Alfred). Preview scores and recordings available from the publishers and at jwpepper.com.
CANCELLED due to COVID-19: I'll be guest conducting the Pennfield MS Wind Ensemble (North Penn School District, Lansdale, PA), Chris Thompson, director, who'll play my Extraordinary Machines of Clockwork and Steam on Fri., April 24, 2020 as part of their performance at the 2020 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association Annual Conference, Kalahari Resorts in the Poconos, PA.
CANCELLED due to COVID-19: I'll be serving as guest conductor for the PMEA District 12 Delaware County Grade 5/6 BandFest, March 12, 2020 at Springton Lake Middle School (Media, PA).
I'll be presenting two sessions on behalf of Alfred Music at the California All-State Music Educators Conference (CASMEC) annual conference in Fresno, CA on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2020: 1) Three Game Changers for Achieving a More Mature Ensemble Sound, and 2) Fun and Games in Band.
I've been commissioned by South Hunterdon Regional High School (Lambertville, NJ) Concert Band, Mr. Gabe Stephens, director to write a Grade 2 piece for February 2020. I'm honored to have been asked by Gabe and his band to create a new work for them!
I'll teach Advanced Orchestration as Artist-Lecturer at Moravian College and my regular Music Technology course as Adjunct Professor at Cairn University this spring.
The Carlisle Public School (Massachusetts) 4th Grade Band, Kevin Maier, Director has commissioned me to write a Grade 1 concert band work to honor the memory of a student who died in a tragic accident last school year. The new piece will be premiered Spring 2020.
On February 14, 2020 I'll be delivering a full day of professional development training to the Middlesex, New Jersey Music and Theater Department. Topics include Methods, Materials & Resources; Selecting Repertoire, Unlocking Student Creativity, Program-Building, Recruitment and Retention; and Helpful Tech Tools.
I'll be serving as guest conductor/clinician for the East Central Mississippi Band Director's Association High School Honor Band, February 7-8, 2020 at Ridgeland High School (Ridgeland, MS).
I'll be attending the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, Chicago, IL from Dec. 18-20, 2019. Look for me at the Alfred Music booth on the vendor floor when I'm not attending one of the many great PD sessions. Alfred will have my new Sound Innovations Sound Sight-Reading method for concert band (Book 1) on display, as well as my new (and some older) works for band. On Thursday, 12/19, I'll be at the Wingert-Jones booth with other W-J composers for a Meet-and-Greet...stop by to say "hi"!
Two of my compositions will be performed by ensembles at the 73rd Annual Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic! The Central Junior High Symphonic Band (Euless, TX), Christine Cumberledge and Nicholas Wilson, directors, will be performing my Extraordinary Machines of Clockwork and Steam as part of their Wed., Dec. 18, 2019 (12:00 p.m.) performance. The Clements High School Symphonic Band (Sugar Land, TX), Daniel Galloway, Jeff Johnson, Leslie Flynn, and Bryan Waites, directors, will perform my Terracotta Warriors on their Fri., Dec. 20, 2019 (6:15 p.m.) performance.
I'll be guest conducting the Muhlenberg College Wind Ensemble (Dr. Andrew Ardizzoia, director) in a performance of my pastoral tone poem, Magic Valley, on Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 7:30 p.m. in the Empie Theater, Baker Center for the Arts.
The wonderful Allentown Band, Ronald Demkee, Conductor (winner of the Sousa Foundation's Sudler Silver Scroll Award), will be performing my Aesop's Fables as part of their Youth Concerts November 6, 2019 at Miller Symphony Hall. The piece, for band and narrator, will be augmented by dancers from the Repertory Dance Theater.
I've co-authored, along with Brian Beck and Robert Sheldon, Alfred's revolutionary new sight-reading method for concert band, Sound Sight-Reading, Book 1 (student and teacher editions). This addition to the Sound Innovations family of resources is available Fall 2019. Sound Sight-Reading, Book 2 - which we are still completing - will be available by Spring 2020!
I will be serving as an Artist-Lecturer at Moravian College, teaching Composition Seminar this Fall. I'm looking forward to helping several undergraduate composition students hone their art and craft! I'll also teach my regular fall Technology for Education in Music for Diverse Learners course for Cairn University.
My two-part article series, "Classroom Management Tips for Ensemble Directors," appeared on the Alfred Music Blog in July (part 1) and August (part 2).
I've been commissioned by Bernards High School (Bernardsville, NJ) Symphonic Band, Mr. Fred Trumpy, director to write a Grade 3 piece for November 2019. I'm very excited to be working with Fred and the Somerset Hills School District to create this new work for band!
I've been commissioned by the Northampton Area School District Middle School and High School Bands (Northampton, PA), Connor Barz and James Sansone, directors, to compose a new Grade 1.5 work inspired by that community's rich history surrounding the cement industry.
I'll be doing a half-day professional development workshop on resources and pedagogy for the band/strings teachers in Glynn County Schools, Brunswick, GA on Aug. 5.
This summer I'm teaching three graduate courses for music educators: July 22-26, "Composing and Arranging for School Bands," University of the Arts (at Villanova University, Villanova, PA); July 15-19, "Integrating Technology into the K-12 Music Curriculum," University of the Arts (at Parkland High School, Allentown, PA); and July 8-12, "Elementary and Middle School Band Workshop," Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, CT).
My new compositions published this summer (2019) include: for band - Extraordinary Machines of Clockwork and Steam (Grade 3, Alfred), Galliard (Grade 2, Alfred), Just Add Music (Grade 1, Alfred), Holiday Shopping (Grade 1, Alfred); for string orchestra – Rockin’ Rosin (Grade 1.5, Wingert-Jones). Preview scores and recordings available from the publishers and at jwpepper.com.
I'll be leading an Alfred Music concert band reading session, and presenting a related clinic ("Fun and Games in Instrumental Music"), to music educators as part of the 2019 NEMC Educator Workshop in Mountainside, NJ on Tuesday, June 25.
I'll be presenting a session entitled "Sound Sight-Reading: Tips for Decoding Music Effectively and Efficiently," at the 2019 Zeswitz Music Music Ed Symposium on Saturday, June 15 at Spring-Ford Area High School. Hope to see some of my Pennsylvania music teacher friends/colleagues there!
I'll be the guest conductor for the ASBDA Mississippi Middle School All-State Band on May 30-June 1, 2019 at Pearl River Community College (Poplarville, MS).
I'll be serving as an adjudicator for a Music in the Parks (Dorney Park) ensemble event on May 11.
I'm serving as an adjudicator for a Music Festivals assessment/mini-clinic event in Warminster, PA (Log College Middle School) on Saturday, April 26, 2019.
The Magic Valley Symphony Orchestra (Twin Falls, ID) performs my "Magic Valley" (orchestral version) once again, this time as part of a "spectacular photo-choreography" concert with projected images.
I'll be doing a one-day residency at Greenwich Country Day School (Greenwich, CT) on April 22 to work with their Upper School Band, Lower School Band and Music Technology students. Thanks to band director, Jesse Tennyson, for the invitation and hosting me! They'll be performing some of my music in their upcoming concert.
University of Delaware Percussion Ensemble, Harvey Price, Director, performs my Dark Chase (Loudis Recital Hall, DuPont Music Bldg., Lindsey Hartfelder, student conductor).
I've been invited to present two sessions on ensemble pedagogy at the New Hampshire Music Educators Association Spring Conference (Concord, NH) on Friday, April 12, 2019.
On Wed., March 27, I conducted an hour-long virtual rehearsal (via Skype) with the Brisbane Girls Grammar School (Queensland, Australia) Chamber Winds, Ashleigh Porter, director! I had a blast working with this fine intermediate ensemble on my composition, "Terracotta Warriors" (Alfred, Gr. 2).
I'll be Composer-in-Residence with the Central York School District March 12-13, 2019, rehearsing my music with the district's intermediate and high school bands, then guest conducting them in an evening concert.
I’ve been commissioned by the Wilson Area School District (Easton, PA) to compose a new work for concert band and chorus (grades 7-12) to be premiered at the historic Easton State Theater Spring 2019. The text was assembled from a “crowd sourced” prompt distributed to all WASD music students (“Music is…”) and reflects the value of music as integral to their lives.
I’ve been commissioned by the Clayton High School Concert Band (Clayton, NJ), Dave Dashefsky, director to compose an exciting, new Grade 2.5-3 concert work for Spring 2019.
I'll be attending the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago Dec. 20-22. In addition to attending all the great sessions and concerts, I'll be spending free moments at the Alfred Music Booth. Please stop by and say "hello"!
The Montgomery County (PA) Concert Band, Chuck Neidhardt and Bret Mascaro, directors, will perform my Queen Mab on their Sunday, Nov. 18 (3:00pm.) concert. On Tuesday, October 17, I'll attend a rehearsal of Queen Mab and work with the band.
The Messiah College (Mechanicsburg, PA) Symphonic Winds, Dr. Travis Weller, Director, will perform my Lion of Ireland (Alfred, Grade 3) on their Nov. 8 concert.
On October 4, 2018 I'll be presenting an evening session, "Integrating Technology Into the Music Curriculum," via Skype, to the Messiah College NAfME Collegiate Chapter.
On September 22, 2018 I'll be presenting a half-day workshop for music ed majors at Moravian College (Bethlehem, PA), entitled, "10 Smart Technologies for Ensemble Programs."
I authored the article, “Perfecting Your Concert Program: Tips for Selecting Repertoire” (July, 2018), for the Alfred Music Blog
My Summer 2018 teaching schedule includes the following:
Mississippi State University Summer Band Director Workshop (Jackson, Mississippi), June 11, 2018: I'll be a clinician, delivering a full day of band pedagogy sessions.
I authored the article, “Developing Discerning Ears: Why Playing Well Is Only Half the Job” (May, 2018), for the Alfred Music Blog
I'll be serving as a concert band adjudicator for two Music in the Parks band festival events on May 5 and May 19 (Dorney Park, Allentown, PA).
On May 14, 2018 I’ll do a composer residency with the William J. Johnson Middle School Band (Colchester, CT), Mike Gowdy, director, rehearsing several of my compositions and sharing about the process of composing. Read about it here!
On May 14, 2018 the Collegium Charter School Band (Exton, PA) will premier a new composition, Movin’ On (Alfred, Grade 1.5), commissioned for the retirement of their director, Mrs. Theresa Sundwall. Also on the program is my piece, Call to Valor (Alfred, Grade 1.5).
I’ll serve as the guest conductor for the PMEA District 10 (West) Elementary Band Festival, to take place at Wilson Middle School, West Lawn, PA on April 27, 2018. The concert includes my composition, Awake the Iron (Alfred, Grade 1.5).
In April 2018, the Orefield Middle School 7th/8th Grade Band (Orefield, PA), Mr. Pete Zimmer, director, will give the premiere of a newly commissioned piece, Balkan Seven (Alfred, Grade 2.5).
On March 23, 2018, the Grove City College Symphonic Band (Grove City, PA), Dr. Joseph Pisano, director performs my Aesop’s Fables (Alfred, Grade 5, with narrator) in concert. For more information click here.
On February 19, 2018, on behalf of Alfred Music (my publisher) I’ll be presenting an instrumental pedagogy clinic to band teachers in the Southwest ISD (San Antonio, TX).
I authored the article, “Intonation: A Game Changer for Achieving a Mature Ensemble Sound” (Feb. 2018), for the Alfred Music Blog and in the Feb. edition of The Instrumentalist magazine.
Lion of Ireland (Alfred Publications, Grade 3) will be performed by the Mercer County Senior High Honors Band, Dr. Travis Weller, guest conductor, at their festival Jan. 18-19 at Thiel College (Greenville, PA).
Ghosts in the Graveyard (Alfred Publications, Grade 1) will be performed at the Texas Region 29 Middle School Division Clinic and Concert - Michael Story, Clinician and Conductor - in San Antonio,TX (John Marshall High School, 1/13/18).
On Dec. 20, 2017, I presented the session, “Enhancing Ensemble Rehearsals with Composer Skype Sessions,” at the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.
I authored the article, “Good Phrasing: A Game Changer for Achieving a Mature Ensemble Sound” (Dec. 2017), for the Alfred Music Blog and in SBO (School Band & Orchestra) magazine.
Terracotta Warriors (Alfred, Grade 2) was named to the 2017 Bandworld Top 100, deemed by the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC) to be among the 100 most significant band compositions of 2017. Terracotta Warriors will be performed at sight-reading sessions by the WIBC Director's Band Nov. 18-19, 2017 (Seattle, WA) and again by the American Band College Director's Band in June 2018.
Ms. Cheryl Miracle (Franklin Public Schools, Franklin, WI) will include my piece, Tu Ungane (Alfred Publications, Grade 1.5) when she guest conducts the Middle School Honors Band Festival, Nov. 19, 2017 at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
On November 4, 2017, my composition, Lion of Ireland, was performed at the Autumn Symphonic Winds Festival, Dr. Travis Weller, guest conductor (AC Valley High School, Foxburg, PA).
I was a guest on the Music Tech Teacher podcast, hosted by Australian music tech specialist, Katie Wardrobe. The episode (No. 36) aired October 20, 2017.
On Oct. 9, 2017, I delivered two sessions at the PMEA District 10 In-Service Conference at Parkland High School (Allentown, PA): “Enhancing Ensemble Rehearsals with Composer Skype Sessions” and “Soundtrap for Music Education,” as well as guest conducting my arrangement, “See Amid the Winter’s Snow (Alfred, grade 2) at the Concert Band Reading Session for the day.
My article, "8 Ways for Teachers to Mentally Reset for Back to School," appeared in August 2017 on the Alfred Music Blog, Ledger Lines, which features advice posts by Alfred Publications author-experts.
In May 2017 I wrote an article for the Alfred Publications Blog, entitled “How to Keep Your Instrumental Students Motivated This Summer.”
On May 13, 2017, I served as an adjudicator for Music in the Parks at their Hershey Park Concert Band Event.
On April 5-8, 2017 I (along with Dr. Jenny Neff, Bala Cynwyd Middle School Band, PA) presented a session at the NAfME Eastern Division Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, entitled, "Using Composer Skype Sessions to Make Meaningful Connections.”
On April 3, 2017, I was a guest on the Everything Band podcast (Episode 2), hosted by Mark Connor: http://www.markjconnor.com/eb-podcast/everything-band-episode-2-composer-scott-watson
On March 31, 2017 I guest conducted the PMEA District 6 Elementary Band Festival at Hollidaysburg Senior High School. Included on the program were my pieces, Regal Fanfare and March (Alfred Publications, Grade 1), and Super Hero (Alfred Publications, Grade 1).
On March 28, 2017 I guest conducted the PMEA District 5 9th Grade Honor Band Festival at Mercer Junior-Senior High School. Included on the program were my Magic Valley (Alfred Publications, Grade 3).
On March 25, 2017 I guest conducted the Berks County (PA) 6th Grade Honor Band Festival at Oley Valley Middle School. Included on the program was my composition, Hercules vs. The Hydra (Alfred Publications, Grade 2), as well as my arrangement, O Happy Day (Alfred Publications, Grade 2).
My new work, Celebratory Fanfare (Alfred Publications) was reviewed favorably in The Instrumentalists magazine this fall.
I’ll be delivering the workshop, Integrating Technology in the K-12 Music Curriculum for the Parkland School District (Allentown, PA) on September 28.
On August 22-24, 2017 I delivered three days of professional development workshops/clinics for the entire music department of the Winston-Salem Forsyth County (NC) School District. Sessions included middle school and high school ensemble pedagogy (band/chorus/orchestra) and integrating technology in the K-12 music curriculum.
In the Spring 2017 issue of PMEA News, Dr. Andy Yozviak reviewed my composition, Queen Mab (Grade 5, self-published): "...this programmatic tone poem depicts the exploits of the 'queen of the fairies and stirrer of dreams' so memorably portrayed in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Themes that evoke a 'lullaby, magical flight, and nocturnal work' are ultimately woven together to present an enchantingly triumphant finale. Strong technique throughout the ensemble and rhythmic confidence will be important to a successful performance."
The following new compositions of mine were released Summer 2017 for publication:
For concert band. A Golden Legacy (Wingert-Jones Publications, Grade 4)*, commissioned by the Lehigh County Bandmasters to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Lehigh County Band Festival. Terracotta Warriors (Alfred Publications, Grade 2.5)*, See Amid the Winter's Snow (Alfred Publications, Grade 1.5), and Celebratory Fanfare (Alfred Publications, Grade 1)*.
For string orchestra: Secret Agent Sugar Plum (Alfred Publications, Grade 2)* and A Joyous Celebration (Alfred Publications, Grade 2.5).
*Items marked with an asterisk (*) were named “Editor’s Choice” by national music retailer, J.W. Pepper.
During Summer 2017, I taught the following graduate courses: Central Connecticut State University: “Video Projects in Music Education” (July 3-7); University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA): “Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity” (July 10-14) and “Video Projects in Music Education” (July 17-21).
During the week of July 24-28, I led the Music Production module of Parkland High School’s Summer STEM Academy.
The Allegheny Valley Honors Band, Dr. Travis Weller, guest conductor, performed my piece, Lion of Ireland (Alfred Publications, Grade 3), at their festival Friday, January 22, 2017 at North Allegheny High School (Wexford, PA).
The PMEA District 10 Elementary Band, Dr. Daniel Neuenschwander, guest conductor, performed my piece, Regal Fanfare and March (Alfred Publications, Grade 1), on January 20, 2017 at Nazareth Area High School (Nazareth, PA).
My piece, El Cid (Alfred Publications, Grade 1.5) was performed by the Eastern Colorado Honor Band, Kirk Vogel, guest conductor, on Thursday, January 5, 2017 at Bennett High School (Bennett, Colorado).
I attended the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic in Chicago as an Alfred Publications composer on Dec. 15-16, 2016.
I'll be conducting a one-hour clinic with the North Penn 6th Grade String Orchestra (Lansdale, PA), Sonya Hoffmann, Director on Mon., Nov. 28, 2016 in preparation for their winter concert, which includes my arrangement, Dreidl Adventure.
My piece, Lion of Ireland (Alfred Publications, Grade 3), will be performed at the 2016 All New England Band Festival by the festival concert band, Dr. Travis Weller, Guest Conductor at Plymouth State University (Plymouth, NH) on November 21.
My arrangement, O Happy Day (Alfred Publications, Grade 2), will be performed on the program of the Central Dauphin School District Middle School Honors Band, John Gabrielle, guest conductor (Central Dauphin Middle School, Harrisburg, PA) on November 16.
The Cairn University (Langhorne, PA) Wind Ensemble, Heidi Wolfskill, Director will perform my piece, Fantasy On An Old English Air (Shawnee Press/Hal Leonard, Grade 4) at their spring concert March 24.
The Albemarle County Middle School Honors Band, Charlottesville, VA, premieres my new work, Terracotta Warriors, commissioned for at their November, 2016 festival concert.
The Orange County School for the Arts Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble, Teren Shaffer, Director (Santa Ana, California), will perform my Queen Mab on October 19, 2016 (at OCSA Symphony Hall) at a special concert entitled, "Future of the American Wind Band." Queen Mab was composed for a consortium of 12 U.S. university and high school ensembles as part of a Composers and Schools in Concert (CSIC) commission. As part of the educational component of the consortium project I'll be conducting a Skype rehearsal with the OCSA Wind Ensemble this fall as well.
My piece, Race Car, is included on the PMEA District 10 In-Service Workshop Concert Band Reading Session at Pocono Mountain-East High School (Swiftwater, PA), Mr. Tim Eick, Coordinator, on Oct. 10, 2016.
I am a contributing composer for Alfred Publication's new Sound Innovations Ensemble Development - Young Band book (released September 2016). This resource, authored by Alfred friends Chris Bernotas and Peter Boonshaft, contains exercises, chorales and more to help young ensembles grow in musicality. I really enjoyed creating a number of chorales for this book.
I'll be team-teaching the course, Getting the Most Out of Band: Meaningful and Effective Ensemble Leadership, with my friend and colleague, Dr. Lauren Reynolds, as part of Central Connecticut State University's Summer Music Institute (July 2016).
In July I'll be leading the course, “Rehearsal Strategies and Repertoire for Young Band,” and “Blended Learning in Music Education,” as part of The University of the Arts' Summer Institute (July 2016).
I’ll be teaching Music Production for Parkland High School’s Summer STEM Academy in June.
The Governor Mifflin Intermediate School (Shillington, PA) Band and Orchestra, Mr. Steven Holgate, Director, commissioned me to compose a new work for combined band and strings. The composition, entitled Mustang Spirit (Gr. 1.5) will be premiered in May 2017.
A consortium of 12 university and high school ensembles from across the U.S. will be presenting premieres during the months of April - May, 2016 of an exciting, new work commissioned under the auspices of Composers & Schools in Concert. Scheduled performances of Queen Mab (Grade 4-5) by consortium members are as follows: Orange County School for the Arts (CA), Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble, Terren Shaffer, Director (TBD), Plymouth State University (NH) Wind Ensemble, Mark Stickney, Director (April 17, 2016), Hollidaysburg (PA) Senior High Symphonic Band, Scott Sheehan, Director (April 19, 2016), Parkland (PA) High Symphonic Band, Jason Lerew, Director (April 21, 2016), Wilson-West Lawn (PA) Symphonic Band, David Cooper, Director (April 26, 2016), Lower Cape May (NJ) Regional High School Symphonic Band, John Drechen, Director (April 28, 2016), Central Connecticut State University Wind Ensemble, Lauren Reynolds, Director (May 4, 2016), East Stroudsburg (PA) High School - South Concert Band, Katye Clogg, Director (May 7, 2016), Quakertown (PA) Community Senior High School Symphonic Band, Frank Parker, Director (May 10, 2016), Bangor Area (PA) Senior High Symphonic Band, Eric Hahn, Director (May 20, 2016), Strath Haven High School Symphonic Band, Jack Hontz, Director - TBA, Northwestern Region 7 High School Wind Symphony, Stephen Zimmerman, Director - TBA
My piece, Awake the Iron (Alfred Publications, Grade 1.5), will be performed by the PMEA District 6 BandFest on their program, April 8 at Northern Cambria High School, under the able baton of guest conductor and good friend/fellow composer, Dr. Travis Weller.
I will be guest conducting my piece, Magic Valley (Alfred Publications, Grade 3) with the Pennfield Middle School Wind Ensemble (North Penn School District, Lansdale, PA), Chris Thompson, Director on Friday, April 1 at the 2016 Pennsylvania Music Educators Association conference in Hershey, PA. Also at this year's PMEA Conference, the Kiski Area Elementary Band (Vandergrift, PA), Karl Priore, dir. will be performing my Joyful Rock.
The New Holland Band (Lancaster, PA), Dr. Kenneth Laudermilch, Director will be presenting a number of my works in concert under the theme of Behind the Pen: Stories and Lessons from Composer, Scott Watson. I will be guest conducting some of my works (Night Journey, A Golden Legacy, Magic Valley), as well as sharing some behind the scenes tales, and a few things the music teaches us, as part of this concert which will take place on Sunday, March 13, 2016.
In 2016 I began serving PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association on two committees: PMEA News Editorial Advisory Committee, reviewing articles for inclusion in each quarterly issue; and, PMEA Strategic Planning Committee, charting short and long range goals/priorities for the organization.
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 (10:30-11:30 am, December 17, 2015).
My concert band work, Der Erlkonig (Alfred, Grade 2) was reviewed by Dr. Andy Yozviak in the PMEA News, Winter 2015: "Johann Goethe's eighteenth century poem has once again stimulated the creative focus of a talented artist. Scott Watson's interpretation of this classic tale embodies all of the tension and anticipation of Schubert's classic art song in this original composition that will challenge and inspire your young band."
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 Publishing) 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.
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 university and high school ensembles in the Spring of 2016. The project includes the opportunity for me to video-conference with the ensembles in schools from California, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. To learn more about the consortium project, and the schools involved, CLICK HERE.
I will be a presenter this Oct. at the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) National In-Service Conference ("Empower Creativity") in Nashville, TN. My session, "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity," will share ways to draw out student's authentic creativity in meaningful activities/projects.
I’ve been Invited by Dr. Peter L. Boonshaft to guest conduct my piece, Aquatica (Grade 4, Alfred) as part of the reading session for his Band Director Academy at the 2015 NAfME Conference in Nashville, TN in November 2015.
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. The program will feature one of my own compositions.
I was honored to be among the very first recipients of the newly established Superintendent's Parkland Pride Award this September. The Parkland School District (my employer) created this award to recognized outstanding achievements of employees.
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 in Seatle, WA., Nov. 20-23.
I’ll teach the following courses this July: University of the Arts: "GarageBand Does It All" and "Blended Learning in Music Education" (at Parkland HS). Central Connecticut State University Summer Music Institute: "GarageBand Does It All" and "Blended Learning in Music Education."
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.
In June I was a presenter for the Conn-Selmer East Clinic, North Penn High School, Lansdale, PA: "What's Hot in Music Ed Tech and Teaching Music in the Cloud."
This June I’ll lead the Music Production Component for Parkland High School’s STEM Academy, a one week summer camp exploring music tech topics and careers. CLICK HERE to view a brief video (with music by STEM Music Production Academy students) about the experience.
Four new concert band pieces of mine have been published by Alfred Publishing: Der Erlkonig (Grade 2, named a J.W. Pepper Editors Choice), O Happy Day (Grade 1.5), Secret Agent Sugar Plum (Grade 1.5) and Super Hero (Grade 1, also named a J.W. Pepper Editors Choice).
I presented a wide-ranging, but relevant session entitled, "What's Hot in Music Ed Tech and Teaching Music in the Cloud," at the 2015 Summer Symposium hosted at North Penn High School, Lansdale, PA (sponsored by Conn-Selmer and Zeswitz Music) on June 20. For session notes, CLICK HERE.
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 retired at the end of the school year. The piece will be published next year by Alfred Publishing as part of Alfred's Young Symphonic Series For news about the premiere, click here.
I guest authored an article, "Fun and Games with Young Instrumentalists," on the SmartMusic blog (April 2015).
Here are some recent performances of my compositions: Pennsylvania Music Educators District 10 Intermediate Band Festival (April 10, 2015, Freedom High School, Bethlehem, PA), Mr. Frank Parker, Guest Conductor, included my El Cid. El Cid, Dorian Haiku, and Call to Valor were all 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. 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.
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.
In March I presented a session, "Blended Learning in Music Education," at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, Hershey, PA.
I'll be guest conducting the Washington County (Maryland) Elementary Honors Band at the Washington County Arts Festival, North Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown, MD on February 17, 2015.
My intermediate band work, El Cid (Grade 2, Alfred) was performed by the Frederick Fennell Wind Ensemble (Orange County, CA School for the Arts), December 2014 at the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Chicago, IL. I'll be in Chicago for the performance and to meet and greet at the Alfred Publications Booth.
El Cid (Alfred, Grade 2) was reviewed by John Thomson in The Instrumentalist (November 2014): "Scored in 3/4 meter, marked 'Allegro,' an infectious Spanish-flavored ostinato, grouped 3+3, 2+2+2, supports the main theme, which is first heard in the flutes. The colorful percussion scoring uses six players, including (2) timpani and bells, plus an essential tambourine part that contributes to the feel. This inviting work is best suited to second and third year players, but a successful performance will require close attention to the rhythmic and stylistic details."
Premiere - 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!
The wonderful Allentown Band, Ronald Demkee, conductor, performed my Aesop's Fables (Alfred, Grade 5) at Miller Symphony Hall (Allentown, PA) for their November 2014 Family Concert.
Mark Hosler reviewed my concert band composition, Aquatica (Alfred, Grade 4) in the October 2014 issue of The Instrumentalist: "This engaging work...begins with a tranquil underwater section featuring solo oboe and the shimmering sounds of wind chimes...the piece abruptly moves to a spirited 6/8 section that suggests aquatic creatures and watercraft moving playfully through the waves. The piece then explores a variety of timbres and textures as it moves through a more contemplative passage before building to a rousing final section that ultimately slows and becomes quieter before ending with a broad, majestic conclusion. Creatively scored, this composition features melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic interest throughout...This is an interesting composition that would be a memorable addition to any program."
Featured presenter/clinician - Pennsylvania College Music Educators Association (PCMEA) Region 3 Music Education Conference at Penn State University, October 2014. Two sessions for pre-service and in-service teachers: "What's New? Current Trends in Music Education Technology," and "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity."
Dorian Haiku (Alfred, Grade 2) was reviewed by John Thomson in the Summer 2014 issue of The Instrumentalist: "This unique and interesting work follows the structure of the style of Japanese poetic verse known as 'Haiku,' grouped in three phrases: 5+7+5...Best suited to middle school learners, this thoughtful new work offers something fresh and different for a change-of-pace moment in your program, and it also will provide good teaching and learning opportunities."
Clinician (August) - Nazareth Area School District. "Teaching Music in the Cloud," and "Integrating Mobile Music Apps into the Music Curriculum."
Clinician (August) - Northampton Area School District. "Finale for the Music Teacher."
I taught the course “Composing and Arranging for School Bands” for the Summer Music Institute at Central Connecticut State University, (July 14-18, 2014), a one-week intensive course on writing effectively and efficiently for beginner, intermediate, and advanced band.
Adjunct Professor (July) - Villanova University: "GarageBand Does It All" (Main Campus), and "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity" (Parkland HS).
Adjunct Instructor (Summer) - Valley Forge Christian College: "Applied Composition."
Music Alliance through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, has commissioned me to write two new concert band works for their summer honor band camp, June 16-21, 2014 (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 at the end-of-week concert.
Coney Island Rag (Alfred, Grade 2) received a favorable review by John Villella in the Spring 2014 issue of PMEA News: "Watson has captured the fun-filled sounds of early 19th-century amusement parks. The composition is set in rag style requiring the reading of syncopation and excellent chromatic writing that is level appropriate. The percussion parts add to the style of the piece and infuse a little fun for the audience."
I've been invited by the Conestoga Valley School District (Lancaster area, PA, Tom Oswinski, Department Chair) to guest conduct a district-wide band program this May, featuring their ensembles at every level - 4th grade band, 5th/6th grade band, middle school band, and high school band - playing my compositions. In addition, I've been commissioned to write a new work that the 5th/6th grade band will premiere that night.
I’ll be Guest Conductor for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 10 Elementary Band & Orchestra Festival at Northampton Area High School, Northampton, PA, Mr. JJ Sansone and Ryan Mertz, Hosts in April 2014. Included on the program is my Hercules vs. The Hydra (Alfred Challenger Series).
My piece, Aquatica (Alfred, Grade 4), 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.
Clinician (February) - Cairn University Church Music Workshop. "Finale for the Church Musician," and "Electronic Keyboard Primer."
I’ll serve as guest conductor in January for the Chester County BandFest (PMEA District 12 Intermediate Festival) at Octorara High School (Atglen, PA), Mrs. Theresa Sundwall, Host. Included on the program is my Call of Valor (Alfred Challenger Series).
Clinician (October) - Northampton Area School District (Northampton, PA) Music Department. "Finale Top 10: Great Ways Finale Computer Music Notation Software Can Help Today's Music Educator."
Clinician (August) - Villanova University A Capella Groups: "Using GarageBand for Recording and Arranging."
Clinician (August) - Northampton Area School District (Northampton, PA) Music Department. "GarageBand in Music Education."
Adjunct Professor (Summer 2013) - Villanova University: "Free and Easy: Putting the Web to Work for You" (Parkland HS), "GarageBand Does It All" (Main Campus), and "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity" (Parkland HS). Instructor - Central Connecticut State University Summer Music Institute: "Free and Easy: Putting the Web to Work for You" and "Elementary and Middle School Band Workshop." Adjunct Instructor - Valley Forge Christian College: "Applied Composition."
I’ve been commissioned this May by the Salisbury School District (Allentown, PA, Rachel Reinecke, band Director) to compose a work in memory of (former Superintendent) Robert Gross (Aquatica, Alfred, Grade 4).
This April I received a joint commission by the Hollidaysburg Area School District (Hollidaysburg Area 6th Grade Band, Melissa Ott, Director) and the Derry Township School District (Hershey Middle School Band, John Gabrielle, Director) to compose a Grade 1.5 work for both bands (Regal Fanfare and March, Alfred, Grade 1).
I was the Keynote Speaker, and Session Clinician for the 3rd Music Technology in Education Conference (MTEC) in Melbourne, Australia, April 8-10, 2013. I spoke about the topic of my book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity as well presented two hands-on sessions.
Presenter (March) - for PMEA Webinar on creative musical activities/projects in general/elective music classes.
I guest conducted the Zephyr Elementary School 5th Grade Band (Whitehall School District, Whitehall, PA) in a performance of my piece, Slam Jam!, at their Feb. 20, 2013 concert.
I’ll guest conduct the PMEA District 10 Intermediate Band Festival (Saucon Valley High School, Mrs. Carol Free, Host) in January. The program will include several of my works.
My intermediate band piece, Call to Valor (Alfred, Grade 2-2.5), was reviewed by Charles R. Groeling in The Instrumentalist (November 2012): "The themes, displaying roots in the military tradition, especially bugle calls, include both rhythmic and ceremonial flair. A middle section brings these ideas forward in a slower, pensive lyric style before returning to a martial conclusion. All of these elements are held together by military-style drum elements. This piece would make an excellent program opener or closer."
I was keynote speaker and presenter for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 7 In-Service Workshop in Harrisburg, PA (Central Dauphin East High School) (October 8, 2013). Morning keynote on “Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity” then two technology sessions: “Finale Top 10” and “GarageBand Does It All.”
Adjunct Instructor (Fall 20120 - Cairn University. "Technology in Music Education for Special Learners."
Adjunct Professor (Summer 2012) - Villanova University. Two sections of "GarageBand Does It All" (Main Campus and Parkland High School), and one section of "Free and Easy: Putting the Web to Work for You" (Parkland HS). Central Connecticut State University Summer Music Institute. "Finale: A Music Teacher's Best Friend."
My concert band work, Night Journey (Wingert-Jones, Grade 3), was reviewed by John Villella in the PMEA News (Spring 2012): "This composition is a programmatic piece describing a nocturnal train ride through a stark and darkened landscape. It is easy to feel the building energy of the locomotive...There is a Native American flavor to the melodic content that also has blues and jazz references."
Guest Lecture (April) - University of the Arts (Philadelphia, PA), discussing my book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity, and pedagogical model for technology-driven, project-based music curriculum to music education students of Beth Sokolowski.
I was Guest Conductor for the PMEA District 12 Delco BandFest, Radnor Middle School, Wayne, PA (Roger Morgan, host) in March. The program included several of my works for band: Tu Ungane (Grade 2), Awake the Iron (Grade 1.5), Appalachian Hoedown (Grade 1.5), and Ghosts in the Graveyard (Grade 1.5).
Lion of Ireland (Alfred, grade 2.5) was reviewed by Charles R. Groeling in The Instrumentalist magazine, March 2012: "This colorful piece is based upon...Brian Boru's March. The original theme statement displays a bouncy 6/8 rendition of the modal melody. Once this is introduced, the work moves into free development of original material that displays traces of the folk tune. Much of the writing explores woodwind textures with the low brass making significant contributions."
Commission/Guest Conductor (February) - Composing new work for the East Stroudsburg Area School District South 5th Grade Band, and serving as guest conductor for concert showcase featuring district's elementary, middle school and high school bands. Besides the newly commissioned piece, When Men and Mountains Meet (Wingert-Jones, Grade 1.5), the concert will also feature my Aesop's Fables (Alfred, Grade 4.5), Magic Valley (Alfred, Grade 3), and Tu Ungane (Alfred, Grade 2).
Presenter (February) - Ohio Music Educators Association joint conference with TI:ME (Technology for Music Education). Two sessions: 1) "Creative Musical Projects with Technology That are Fun, Easy and Free!" and "Finale Top 10."
Keynote Presenter (January) - SoundTree Institute Online In-Service Conference (Jan. 16), “Fostering Creativity in the Music Classroom with Music Technology”: My address (made via interactive web conferencing) will be based on my book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (Oxford University Press).
Jamaica Me Crazy (Alfred, Grade 1.5) was reviewed by John Villella in the PMEA News, Winter 2011: "...delightful Caribbean piece. The syncopated melody is fun to play and an easy way to develop good confidence with syncopation for young musicians."
Presenter (October) - Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, District 10 In-Service workshop. "GarageBand Does It All!" and "Finale Top 10."
Presenter (October) - Lehigh Valley Performing Arts High School (Bethlehem, PA). “Finale for Music Education” workshop.
Instructor (Fall 2011) - Philadelphia Biblical University. "Technology in Music Education for Special Learners."
Webcast (Summer 2011) - Live conversation hosted by banddirector.com, featuring Watson, with guest co-host Chris Bernotas (Composer/Band Director), discussing Watson's book, Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (Oxford University Press).
Instructor (Summer 2011) - Central Connecticut State University. "GarageBand Does It All" and "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity." Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two sections of the course, "GarageBand Does It All," at Parkland High School.
My new book was released for publication in July 2011: Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity (©2011, Oxford University Press).
Two works, Awake the Iron (Alfred, Grade 1.5) and Ghosts in the Graveyard (Alfred, Grade 1), were performed by the North Penn Elementary Wind Ensemble (Chris Thompson, Director) at the PMEA Annual Conference, Hershey, PA in April 2011.
In-Service Clinic (January) - Northampton School District (PA) music department. "Finale 2011 Tips and Tricks."
I’m looking forward to attending the Midwest Clinic in Chicago this December 2010 to learn much, represent Alfred Publications and hear my composition, Awake the Iron (Alfred, Grade 1.5), be performed by the Kealing Middle School Wind Ensemble (Mark Gurgel, Director).
My concert band piece, Tu Ungane (Alfred, Grade 2), was reviewed by John Villella in the PMEA News (Winter 2010): "Excellent melodic material and cool rhythmic grooves makes this a fun composition for musicians and audience alike."
In-Service Clinician (October) - Northampton School District (PA) music department. "GarageBand Does It All!"
Technology Workshop (October) - William Paterson University (NJ). Overview session for music education students on integrating technology into the K-12 music curriculum. Session and consultation to music department faculty on technology useful to pre- and in-service K-12 music educators.
I’ll serve as Composer-in-Residence at Penn State University summer Composer's Club, mentoring young instrumentalists for two days in June during this creative day camp, run in conjunction with Penn State's Music at Penn's Woods Orchestra and Chamber Music Festival.
Instructor (Summer 2010) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Three courses at Parkland High School: "Printing Music with Finale (2010)" and two sections of "GarageBand Does It All." Central Connecticut State University. "GarageBand Does It All."
In-Service Clinician (March) - Easton Area School District (PA) music department. "Finale Music Notation Software in Classroom, Instrumental, and Choral Music Teaching."
Presenter (February) - New Jersey Music Educators Association/TI:ME Conference, New Brunswick, NJ. "Using Technology to Unlock Musical Creativity." This session gives an overview of my forthcoming book of the same name (Oxford Univ. Press) and includes many practical ideas for fun/creative projects for use with K-12 music students.
Performance of At the Feast of Stephen (Alfred, Grade 1) on December 19, 2009 at the Midwest Band & Orchestra Clinic, Chicago, IL by the Clear Lake High School Wind Ensemble (Houston, Texas), Joe Munoz, Conductor.
In-Service Clinician (Fall) - Southern Lehigh School District (Coopersburg, PA) music department. "Using Technology to Unlock Creativity in Music Students."
In-Service Clinician (Summer) - Muhlenberg School District (Reading, PA) music department. "Using Technology to Unlock Creativity in Music Students."
Instructor (Summer 2009) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two courses at Parkland High School: "Printing Music with Finale (2009)" and "Unlocking Creativity with Technology." Central Connecticut State University. "GarageBand Does It All."
In-Service Clinician (March) - Southern Lehigh School District (Coopersburg, PA) music department. "Music Technology for the Classroom."
Keynote Presenter (March) - TI:ME PA Chapter Conference, West Chester University. "Using Technology to Unlock Creativity."
Aesop’s Fables (Alfred, Grade 5) was reviewed by John Thomson in The Instrumentalist (Volume 60, Issue 8, 2006): "...musically depicts the four tales "The Hare and the Tortoise," "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," "The Dog and His Bone," and "The Wolf and His Shadow." The colorful percussion scoring requires at least seven players, including two mallet players on bells, vibes, and xylophone. This work could be performed well by high school, college, or community ensembles, but the piece is demanding for everyone and would be a good addition to a young person's program.”
In-Service Clinician (November) - PMEA District 11 Professional Development Conference, Montgomery County Community College. Two sessions: "Finale: A Music Teacher's Best Friend," and "Great Uses for Today's Music Technology."
Course Designer (Summer 2008) - Knowledge Elements Education Network. Created the syllabus and course (multimedia) content for KEEN's "Music Appreciation" offering to a consortium of colleges and universities nationwide.
Instructor (Summer 2008) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two courses at Parkland High School: "Printing Music with Finale (2008)" and "Unlocking Creativity with Technology." Central Connecticut State University. "Unlocking Creativity with Technology."
The Lehigh County Honor Band premiered A Golden Legacy (Wingert-Jones, Grade 4), with me guest conducting, in March. The work was commissioned to celebrate their 50th anniversary.
I guest conducted the Allentown School District’s "Bands-in-the-Round" festival in March, featuring several of my works for young band.
Presenter (January) - Michigan Music Educators Association (and TI:ME National) Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan. 3-hour session for music educators on using Finale music notation software in class, lessons, and rehearsal.
Consultant/Presenter (January) - Philadelphia Biblical University. 3-hour morning workshop on implementing music technology in the PBU music curriculum, culminating a months-long consulting project with the School of Music.
I’ve been commissioned by the Massachusetts Instrumental & Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) to compose a work for concert band & chorus to be premiered March 2007 at the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Annual Conference in Boston. I’ll present a lecture/demonstration about the commissioned piece, Night Journey (Wingert-Jones, Grade 4, text by Theodore Roethke), and conduct the Algonquin High School Concert Band & Chorus in the premiere.
I was the guest conductor for the Middle Grades Music & Arts Festival at Delaware Valley Middle School, Mollie Wilson, Host.
Instructor (Summer 2007) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two courses at Parkland High School: "Printing Music with Finale (2007)" and "Basic Skills in Music Technology: Electronic Musical Instruments, Notation Software, and Multipart Music Production" (TI:ME 1A)."
Course Designer (Summer 2007) - Knowledge Elements Education Network. Created the syllabus and course (multimedia) content for KEEN's "History of Music in Worship" offering to a consortium of colleges and universities nationwide.
Clinician (January) - Northampton Area (PA) School District. Follow-up in-service training for K-12 music staff: topics in music notation software for music educators.
Presenter (November) - Kutztown University. Seminar for Music Education majors on integrating technology into the K-12 music curriculum.
Instructor (Summer 2006) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two courses at Parkland High School: "Printing Music with Finale 2006" and "Basic Skills in Music Technology: Instructional Software, Multimedia, and the Internet (TI:ME 1B)."
Performance of Magic Valley (Alfred, Grade 3) by the West Chester University Wind Ensemble, Dr. Ken Laudermilch, director (April 2006, Swope Hall). The piece was originally commissioned by the American Composers Forum, the Magic Valley Arts Council, and the Twin Falls Municipal Band for the centennial of Twin Falls, ID.
Presenter (January) - FMEA Annual Conference, Tampa, FL. Two sessions: "Choosing the Best Technology Solutions for Your Program," and "Technology for Young Instrumentalists."
Presenter (Fall) - College Music Society (CMS)/Association for Technology in Music Instruction (ATMI) joint conference - Quebec City, Quebec. "Teaching Music Theory with Technology."
Instructor (Fall 2005) - “Computers in Musical Applications,” for the Boyer College of Music, Temple University.
Instructor (July) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two courses at Parkland High School: "Printing Music with Finale 2005" and "Creating Accompaniments for Your Music Program."
Guest conductor, PMEA District 10 (West) Elementary Band Festival, Shenandoah Valley Jr./Sr. High School, Dale Schimpf, Host in April 2005.
Presenter (April) - PMEA Convention, Hershey, PA. Two sessions: "Dynamic Concerts" and "Technology for Young Instrumentalists."
Clinician (April) - Northampton Area (PA) School District. In-service training of K-12 music staff: advanced music notation software.
Presenter (January) - GMEA Convention, Savannah, GA. Three sessions: Finale 2004, "Technology for Young Instrumentalists," and "Making/Using Accompaniments."
Presenter (January) - Handbell Exploration East Conference, Hershey, PA. Two session on computer music notation.
CD Recording (released Fall 2004): Celestial Sounds for Harp and Flute by Patricia Davila, flute and Elaine Christy, harp (Twinz Records). Includes several movements from my Five Carols for Flute and Harp (Trillenium Press). Order online.
Guest conductor for the Twin Falls Municipal Band, Twin Falls, Idaho, conducting the premiere of my concert band composition, Magic Valley (Alfred, Grade 3) in a series of summer concerts sponsored by the Magic Valley Arts Council and the American Composers Forum.
Presenter (August) - Neshaminy School District. In-service training of 5-12 music staff in lab management and product training.
Instructor (July 2004) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two weeks of music educator in-service courses (off-campus at Parkland High School in Allentown, PA). (TI:ME 2A and Recording).
Fantasy On An Old English Air (Shawnee/Hal Leonard, Grade 3.5) was reviewed by Mark Hosler in The Instrumentalists, March 2004: "...an outstanding instrumental fantasia on the 18th-century tune, 'Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes.' The beautiful melodies and interesting harmonies use a variety of dynamics. The piece...has numerous opportunities for expressive playing."
Presenter/Clinician (February) - TMEA/TI:ME Conference, San Antonio, TX. "11 Awesome Uses for Notation in Music Education".
Clinician (January) - Northampton (Pennsylvania) School District. In-service training of K-12 music staff in music notation software, and integrating technology into their curriculum.
Presenter (October) - West Chester University Wind Ensemble, West Chester, PA. Rehearsal of Siege of Badon Hill (Shawnee Press, distributed by Hal Leonard, Grade 2.5); question/answer session.
Instructor (August) - Temple University (Boyer College of Music). One week course in music technology for music educators at Temple's main campus. (TI:ME 1B)
Appointed Publications Committee Chair for the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) in August. John Dunphy, Executive Director. Supervise the production of educational resources for this national organization.
Residency (July) - Community of Twin Falls (Magic Valley Arts Council), Idaho. American Composers Forum Continental Harmony project commission for the Twin Falls Municipal Band and College of Southern Idaho Wind Ensemble.
Instructor (July) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Two weeks of music educator in-service courses for the VSMSP (off-campus at Parkland High School in Allentown, PA). (TI:ME 1A and 1B).
Visiting Artist Residency (February-May) - Southern Lehigh Middle School, Coopersburg, PA. Nancy Beitler, Director. 4-day residency working with students on the compositional process, and writing a piece for the 7th/8th Grade Band Siege of Badon Hill (Shawnee Press, distributed by Hal Leonard, Grade 2.5).
Commission (April) – Church Farm School, Exton, PA. Gary Gress, Music Director. Choral introit based on a Psalm, for spring 2004 tour of Germany (Sing to the Lord).
Premiere (April) - Figurations (Shawnee Press, Grade 5) for Wind Ensemble. Commissioned by the West Chester University Wind Ensemble, Kenneth Laudermilch, Director. Swope Hall, West Chester University (April 1, 8:00 p.m.).
Commission (April) – Far Hills Country Day School Band, Far Hills, NJ. Amy Burns, Director. Piece for Spring 2004 concert (Country Dance, Alfred, Grade 1).
Commission/Residency (February) - American Composers Forum Continental Harmony Project. Year-long collaboration with Magic Valley Arts Council; residency activities and composition of a piece for concert band (Magic Valley, Alfred, Grade 3). See www.continentalharmony.org.
Presenter (March) - CMEA/TI:ME Conference, Pasadena, CA. "14 Awesome Uses for Notation in Music Education" and "Sequence-stration."
Commission (January) – Southern Lehigh School District, for the Southern Lehigh Middle School Band, Nancy Beitler, Director. Work for performance in May concert (The Siege of Badon Hill, Shawnee Press, distributed by Hal Leonard, Grade 2.5).
Presenter (January) - GMEA/MENC South In-Service Conference, Savannah, GA. "Top 10 (or More) Uses for Notation in Music Education."
Presenter (January) - PM District 7 Band Festival, Garden Spot High School, PA. "Overview of Technology Applications for the Band Director." Richard Fitz, host.
Commission (July) – from West Chester University Chamber Winds and Percussion, Kenneth Laudermilch, Director (Figurations #1, #2, #3).
Instructor (Summer 2002) - Two courses for Temple University: “Counterpoint” (Music Theory Dept.) and “Basic Skills in Music Technology” (Music Education Dept.). Richard Broadhead, Interim Dean.
In May I served as the Editor for the book, Basic Skills in Music Technology: Instructional Software, Internet, and Digital Media by David Mash and Floyd Richmond, Technology Institute for Music Educators.
Presenter (April) - TI:ME and MENC Joint National Conference, Nashville Tennessee. "Teaching Composition with Technology: Ideas for Grades 4-12."
Presenter (January) - Technological Directions in Music Learning Conference, University of Texas at San Antonio. "Teaching Composition with Technology."
Premiere (October) - Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra, Temple University Symphony Orchestra, Luis Biava, Music Director, Terell Stafford, Trumpet Soloist. Academy of Music, Philadelphia, PA.
Instructor (Summer 2001) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. “Basic Skills in Music Technology: Electronic Instruments, Notation and Sequencing” (TI:ME Level 1a), and “Basic Skills in Music Technology: Instructional Courseware, the Internet and Multimedia” (TI:ME Level 1b). George Pinchock, Director.
Visiting Artist (January) - CFS The School at Church Farm, Exton, PA. Lecture/Demonstration.
Presenter (January) - Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME) National Conference (in conjunction with the Ohio Music Educators Association State Conference), Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio. Sessions on Integrating Music and Science Curriculum, and Music Education Uses for Digital Audio Software.
Commission (September) – Church Farm School, Exton, PA. Gary Gress, Music Director. Work for Men's Chorus, Piano and Trumpet (The Mystic Trumpeter), with text by Walt Whitman.
Instructor (Summer 2000) - Villanova Summer Music Studies Program. Basic Skills in Music Technology: Electronic Instruments, Notation and Sequencing (TI:ME Level 1a). George Pinchock, Director.
Instructor (Summer 2000) - Carbon/Lehigh Intermediate Unit Professional Development Courses. Several full-day sessions on using technology in music.
Commission (April) – Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, Donald Spieth, Music Director, premiered April 8, 2000 (Hymn and Declaration). I also gave a pre-concert lecture about the piece and the process (Foy Concert Hall, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA).
Recipient (January) - Margaret Fairbanks Jory Copying Assistance Grant from the American Music Center for Hymn and Declaration for chamber orchestra.
Presenter (January) - Georgia State Music Teachers Conference, Savannah, GA. "Creating an Interactive Website for Your Music Program."