Another school year is in the books! This one will be remembered as the full year of COVID-19, and one that had many challenges. While many negatives could be recited, I’ve been trying to focus on the positives related to how we were able to make it work to do in-person music-making and lessons. Everyone involved should be proud of doing the best we could and surviving the year under unprecedented circumstances. Now our attention moves fully to hopes of a “normal” school year starting in the fall! I’m also especially looking forward to the fall as I was recently promoted/converted to Assistant Professor here at UW-Milwaukee, where I have been serving as Lecturer for four years. I’m very much looking forward to this next chapter and to all of the components that this change in position brings!
I’m excited to dive into this summer break in which I plan to do some more composing and recording work for the UWM Advancing Research and Creativity Grant that I was awarded. In my last update here on the website, I mentioned that I had recently did some recording of two solo vibraphone pieces in UWM’s Jan Serr Studio performance venue for the grant and already released one of them. I have now released the second video (“Hysteresis” by Jeremy Muller) and it can be found on my YouTube channel and on the Video/Audio page here on the website. Working on this project has been a lot of fun so far, and I’m very much looking forward to collaborating with a couple of friends while working on more new works!
On the performing side, things were still very repressed due to the pandemic. I was able to record a piece on a virtual program with Present Music in March though (picture from the video above), and I also had a full percussion ensemble program with Cross//Hatch, presented through the Sheboygan Symphony, in April. Even though they were not done with a live, in-person audience, it was great to be able to make music with each of these groups again! Last, but not least, my wife and I welcomed our first child at the end of March and that has certainly kept things interesting while finishing out the school year too! One more reason to look forward to some time off this summer; to have some time to hang out with my new daughter.