“The work [Glimpses of Azure], splendidly performed, struck us as lucid and emotionally persuasive. We have often wondered where to turn nowadays to find the level of craft so assiduously acquired and practiced by late 19th and early 20th century American masters; now we know.” -Vance Koven, writing in The Boston Musical Intelligencer, December 9, 2013 (Read the review.)
“An American classic” William Parker, composer and avant-garde jazz bassist, referring to A Fleeting Animal
“It’s the most beautiful piece I’ve ever heard. I had tears streaming down my face.” An audience member after hearing the solo piano work The Calling
Welcome. Thank you for visiting my music composition website. I hope you will find something of interest to you whether you are a performer, conductor, student, another composer or simply a music lover. Please feel free to contact me.
WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER CONCERTS
ON JANUARY 27-28, 2023
Our concerts on January 27-28 were a great success, with wonderful performances from the musicians, powerful poems created specially to go with the musical works by Rajnii Eddins, and rave reviews from audience members. In addition, the concerts raised $1500 for the Clemmons Family Farm in Charlotte, Vermont, a wonderful African-American culture center. If you’d like to watch the entire January 28 performance, courtesy of ORCA Media in Montpelier, Vermont, go here. Please take the time to read the printed program first to get some context for the musical works.
These concerts represent the result of my work done during the worst of the Pandemic, when the only way musicians could perform was to play solo concerts online. As a result, most of the works on the program are for solo instruments and were written in 2020. All the pieces are tributes to Black artists and/or activists, as 2020 was also a year of racial reckoning in our country.
OUR NEW OPERA!
Aliceheimer’s, the new chamber opera I have written in collaboration with librettist Dana Walrath, is based on the memoir series of the same name about Dr. Walrath’s experiences with her mother Alice during Alice’s journey with dementia. The opera is written in Alice’s voice and the audience experiences a wide variety of human emotions right along with her, from humor to anger to confusion to pathos to contentment. Two preview performances of selected scenes in November, 2021 were very well received. To read more about the opera, listen to excerpts and view some of Dana’s artwork, go to our new Aliceheimer’s website. To view the very informative panel discussion from our first performance in Montpelier, Vermont, go here. To read my blog post about how the opera came about, go here. To read what Dana says about the opera go here. Thanks to our fiscal sponsor, Monteverdi Music School in Montpelier, Vermont and to a number of donors for their support. Stay tuned as we work toward a full production of Aliceheimer’s.
Photo credits: Solo/Duo photo by Brian Hanke, Small Ensembles photo by Isabel Weinger Nielsen, Large Ensembles photo by Yoon S. Byun, Choral/Vocal photo by Ingrid Nielsen, Beginners/Youth photo by Amos Hamilton, Teaching/Mentoring photo by Amos Hamilton, Opera photo by Isabel Weinger Nielsen, Collaborations photo by Jackie Smith, Weddings photo by Jackie Smith
I compose as a contribution to community. My aim is to bring people together through music. I work hard to communicate as directly as possible with listeners. I want to move people emotionally through the sound structures that I create as a composer. My hope is that by telling a musical story, my work will strike a responsive chord in listeners who approach art with an open and attentive mind and heart. I also believe strongly that the creative arts, in my case music, have a strong role to play in helping to create a more peaceful, just and equitable world, and a number of my recent works are part of my contribution toward such a world.
I also view helping others to compose as part of my mission as a teacher and mentor. I am passionate in my belief that anyone who wants to create music can do so and I’ve spent many years seeing the truth of that statement borne out with students of all ages.