I remember very clearly June the 18th, as I had decided to spend my afternoon in the University's media lab working away at my commission. I was very fatigued after writing for two hours, but felt a sense of urgency, I could see the end of my Rhapsody and so I decided to stay for another few hours and push forward to finish this work. I wrote the final bars to what would be the rough draft of my Rhapsody for Organ and Orchestra, brain dead, tired, and famished. But I remember feeling such achievement in that moment as I finished another orchestra piece even though I had thought at the time that the other had been rejected. As I saved my work, I checked my phone and realized I had an email from the Lake Union Civic Orchestra, I honestly assumed this was my official rejection as the announcement deadline had passed. But instead it was;
"Dear Taylor, Congratulations! Your submission, Fanfare Giocoso, has been chosen as a winner in LUCO’s 20th Anniversary Fanfare Competition! We are very excited to premiere your work as a part of our 20thAnniversary Season. We hope that you will be able to attend the concert, which will be held at 7:30pm on Friday, October 24, 2014 at Town Hall Seattle (1119 8th Ave, Seattle WA 98101). At the concert, we will present you with your $500 prize check. If you cannot attend, please let us know and we will arrange to have the check mailed to you. Whether you are there or not, we will also be happy to provide you with a recording of the event."
I was overwhelmed and completely taken aback. I just remember the sense of joy and catharsis in finally having validation in all the hours I had spent working away by-myself. To have some sense of validity in my choice of degree path, and acceptance of my music I remember being one of the best feeling I had ever felt in my life.
In early October I got to go to two Lake Union Civic Orchestra rehearsals, and I was in awe at their professionalism and skill. The conductor Christophe Chagard and orchestra manager Steven Noffsinger were two of the nicest people I had ever met. I remember being so terrified heading up to the rehearsals, but very quickly felt welcomed by them and everyone else at LUCO. I was so honored to have that opportunity.
The night of the premiere went fantastically. I was very nervous more so than when I had previously played in concerts as a soloist. Fortunately my part was already done and LUCO performed Fanfare Giocoso amazingly. I just remember the audience being so loud in the hall and being that way for what seemed like an eternity as I walked on stage. I was so taken aback by the reception to the music I had written, the excitement I had hoped to convey I could feel in the crowd. I was still completely overcome in nerves as I received my prize on stage (I was supposed to offer thanks, but knew I could not have said anything at the moment).
I would like to use the end of this blog post to say may thanks to the Lake Union Civic Orchestra. LUCO promoting and supporting modern classical music with these contests and premieres. it is so meaningful to know that something I dreamed up between classes could go from my head to the stage and mean something to so many people, really is an extraordinary opportunity. By giving me and so many other young composers that chance is helping to ensure the continued development and interest in classical music. I know after my experience I will never give up composing or wonder as to the value of my music, because now I know exactly what being a composer means.