After three months of learning, tweeking, erasing, editing and re-copying, I had a chance to hear my first big band piece played today. An arrangement of "Stay Awake" (the lullaby sung to characters Jane and Michael Banks by Julie Andrews in "Mary Poppins") fused with some respectfully disturbed quotations from the adagio cantabile of Beethoven's Sonata Pathetique. The original version of this I wrote ten years ago for piano and voice to be sung on a cd of lullabies for my then-soon-to-be-born niece Alaina.
One of the conservatory's big bands did the honors this afternoon, under the direction of esteemed band leader and bass trombonist Erik van Lier (who has toured with the likes of Vince Mendoza and Dizzy Gillespie). Granted, I was only given enough time in the rehearsal to run it twice - so there were some missed notes and entries, it was enough to whet the whistle and have me wanting more.
From the first utterance of the saxophones, I was hooked.
And beyond the coolness of having my writing performed, I got to sing and play piano with the whole thing. And let me tell you, singing with a 25-piece band backing you up is a ton of fun.
With any luck at all, this will become a habit.