Hoopla for winds and percussion (2009/rev. 2014) - 7.5'
Commissioned by Ronald J. Evans and the Northwinds Symphonic Band
Premiere: February 27, 2010
Riverside Military Academy
Northwinds Symphonic Band
William Pitts, Conductor
Birdville High School Wind Ensemble
Michael Cheripka, Conductor
Much of my music celebrates positivity and optimism. Hoopla is written as a musical representation of celebration and the excitement of positive anticipation. There is no greater feeling than the expectation and realization of a rewarding event in one's life. As a teacher, I thrive on the moments in which a student makes a determination that his or her performance and achievement are worthy of praise and acknowledgement, both from him or herself and others. The magnitude of these personal victories is often not fully understood by others, but there is nothing more important to that student in that moment than reaching that particular point of satisfaction. I have learned through these types of experiences that taking time to celebrate the personal victories and accomplishments in my own life is necessary for a rewarding and worthwhile experience as a teacher, musician, and person. To everyone else, it might seem like a bunch of "hoopla and hullabaloo." To me, it is the reason to "keep on keepin' on."
Hoopla is dedicated to the music educators that have shared this enthusiasm for music and have shaped my path throughout my musical growth. Naming all of them individually is the only way I feel as though I can begin to thank them for their effect on my life as a musician and person. My piano teachers: Jan Adams and George Mann; my elementary music teachers: Susan Fields, Cheryl Miller, and Elizabeth McCollum; my beginning band director: Don Hall; my church choir directors: Jack Gantt, Beth Brown Shugart, Becky Allen, and Kara Aldridge; my middle school band directors: Hal Lovvorn and Elisa Lyle; my high school band director: Robert Carter; my college conducting professors and ensemble conductors: Scott A. Stewart and Richard Prior; my saxophone professors: John Jeffres and Jan Berry Baker; and my composition professor: John Anthony Lennon.
Hoopla was commissioned by Ronald J. Evans, who also holds a special place in my musical upbringing. Mr. Evans was the band director for my Mom and all of her siblings at Johnson High School in Gainesville, Georgia. His wife, Karyl, taught piano lessons to all of my family throughout their childhood. Their influence on my family greatly contributed to my initial interest and involvement with music. Mr. and Mrs. Evans have constantly supported my growth and rarely ever missed one of my concerts during my time at Emory. I am forever grateful for their support of my family, myself, and, most importantly, music education. It has been an incredible honor to have the opportunity to collaborate with an educator that has so greatly influenced my entire family along with countless others throughout his career.