Composers always type their bio in third person. Well NOT ME. I am a composer and sound designer from Charlotte, NC, currently based in Louisville, KY, having just completed a Masters in Choral Conducting at the University of Louisville.
My music has been performed nationally and internationally by the Cardinal Singers, Collegiate Chorale, and University Chorus at the University of Louisville , the Louisville Chamber Choir, the East Carolina University Chamber Singers, the Lake Junaluska Singers, the Kirkpatrick Choir at Rutgers University, and many others. I've had works performed at festivals in America, Cathedrals in Europe, and on the Great Wall of China.
I began composing during high school, premiering and conducting my first work in 2008, before graduating and attending East Carolina University, where I earned my Bachelor's in Music Theory/Composition in 2012 (magna cum laude, if you were interested. And let's be honest. You were.) I've premiered a number of works across myriad media, including solo works, chamber ensembles, wind ensemble, choir, and electronics. I earned my Masters in Music Composition from the University of Louisville in 2015 and Masters in Choral Conducting in 2017, studying under Krzysztof Wołek and Kent Hatteberg, respectively.
I received my first commission in 2010, and have received a number of commissions since, both from individuals and larger organizations. If you are interested in commissioning me, feel free to get in touch with me via my contact info below.
I worked as senior sound designer for Figure 8 Games in Greenville, NC, from 2012-2013. My position oversaw all sound design, production, and editing, as well as composing original music and editing voiceover work. If you are interested in hiring me for sound design work, feel free to get in touch with me via my contact info below.
If you are performing any of my works and are interested in having me visit, rehearse, run a masterclass, or anything else in that vein, I am certainly available to do so, especially if travel expenses are covered (and most likely even when they're not). If you are interested in doing this, feel free to get in touch with me via my contact info below.
It's possible you are beginning to see a pattern here.
Lastly, thank you for your visit and your interest in my music. If you have any questions, comments, or otherwise...
Choir Chat with John hughes - May 23, 2017
NPR Interview - Mar 16, 2017
Interview for the Asheville Choral Society's 40th Anniversary
University of Louisville New Music Festival - Nov 4, 2015
Sing Joyeux Noel - December 29, 2015
Arts-Louisville.com review by Annette Skaggs
photo credit: Haley De Witt
How do I purchase music through your site? What licenses/rights does this give me?
Currently I only offer digital downloads of my music for direct purchase through this website. If you're new to the world of digital scores, the ordering process is relatively simple: to order, simply visit the page for the piece to wish to buy, click the "Add to Cart" button, and type in the number of scores you will need:
Essentially what you are buying are licenses to print each score, so it is important you type in the number reflective of the number of copies you intend to print. Typically, this will be the same as physical scores:
For band and chamber works, the score and parts come as a bundle, so a single purchase is all that is required.
For choral works, this would be one per member of the ensemble + one for the conductor.
Please note that for choral works you are licensed to print only the number of scores you buy, so if you've purchased just one for perusal, this can not be copied multiple times to facilitate a performance of the work with a full ensemble. This also applies to distribution of the .pdf file electronically, whether to other conductors, or to members of the ensemble to use on a mobile device in performance. In short, simply treat these licenses like copies of a physical score that you might receive from a major publisher.
Upon completing the purchase, you will be emailed a .pdf file of the score which you are then free to print out on your end. With the purchase of a score, you are granted license to perform this work in a concert setting. Note that while recording for promotional/internal use is allowed, commercial recording is another matter, which will need to be negotiated with me directly. For payment, I accept major credit cards at this time. All prices listed on this site are in US Dollars; if you need to pay with a currency other than USD, it can still be accepted - the conversion will be handled automatically.
I used to offer an option on checkout to buy scores via purchase order, but I have since removed it because it was causing more problems than it solved. That said, I know many institutions do all of their ordering through purchase orders and checks or bank transfers, rather than by credit card, and I am still happy to accommodate this, it just now will need to be done directly with me via email rather than through the online store.
If you would prefer to order hard copies, I am able to fulfill this, but please note the cost will be higher (due to printing costs) and the turnaround time will be longer, due to having to ship them to you. Given this, I strongly recommend ordering the digital version of any score you wish to buy, but I also recognize that printing scores on your end isn't always possible. Cost of hard-copy purchases will vary due to shipping costs, so each order will need to be made directly with me via email (see contact section below).
How do you handle commissions? What do I need to have prepared before reaching out, and how does the process start?
Commissioning a new piece is a relatively straightforward process, even if you aren't 100% sure what you want ahead of time. Starting is easy: just send me an email (see contact section below) telling me you're interested in collaborating on a new work. Typically I'll want you to know at least the following basic information:
Which ensemble to write for
Roughly how long you want the piece to be (a range, e.g. 3-5 minutes, is fine!)
Any other miscellaneous aspects of the work you care to add, such as:
stylistic elements (fast, rhythmic, tonal, etc.)
a text or author/poet to use if the work is for voice(s)
the occasion for the commission (anniversary, to honor a particular person, etc.)
And lastly, your timeframe - both in terms of:
when the performance is intended to be
when you will need the piece in order to have sufficient rehearsal time
Based on all of these, I will then quote you a fee for the work, and if accepted, I'll put it all into a contract and add the commission to my calendar. I don't have a strict per-minute rate for commissions, as each of the above considerations changes the workload on my end, which is what I'm factoring into the final price. Payment for commissions is typically made half in advance and half upon delivery of the completed piece via check.
A Consortium model is also a great way to get a new work into existence. Think of this like a group commission - a number of ensembles each chip in part of the commission fee, and then all get to premiere it to their respective audiences. The biggest advantage of this method is the cost - consortia are perfect for ensembles that want to sing brand new works but operate on smaller budgets, like high schools or smaller-scale churches and community groups. By uniting your efforts with other like-minded ensembles, each group's contribution won't break the bank on your end, but the composer - whoever they may be - still gets paid in full. If you are interested in working with me through a consortium, gather a few other interested groups and reach out to me via email, and we'll go from there.
For more details and thoughts on commissioning a new work, I encourage you to read this pamphlet by composer and conductor Dominic DiOrio.
Are you available to visit/work with our ensemble?
I am! I love working with groups on my music, and meeting ensembles and directors alike. I am able to run a masterclass (conduct and rehearse the ensemble myself), simply listen and provide feedback, or Skype in to meet everyone virtually. I am also happy just to attend a performance and meet with the group before or after. For any and all travel, I ask for a modest stipend that covers transportation, lodging, and food, and a small fee, depending on the duties being asked. Exact amount will depend on distance traveled and other factors, so please get in touch to discuss further.
Can we make an audio/video recording of our ensemble performing your work? Can we post/share it on social media?
Short answer: yes, with some stipulations. Recordings for archival and/or promotional purposes are always fine, with no need for extra fees or licenses. In addition to this, though, I would greatly appreciate receiving a copy of or a link to any such recording made, so I can share it myself, either on my own social media accounts, or potentially on this site. But in short, I appreciate and encourage you sharing my music with all who follow your ensemble's exploits.
In addition to recordings, I just plain love knowing about any performance or use of my music in any context, so please don't hesitate to get in touch. For now, I try to add all I can to my website's calendar, so at the very least I could add your event to that. Also, if it's relatively easy to send me concert programs, feel free to forward those along as well. I look forward to hearing from you!
Feel free to email me with any questions, concerns, comments, commissions, or any other word that begins with a "kuh "
A link to my SoundCloud, where you will find recordings of all of my compositions as well as samples from my sound portfolio.
A link to my official Facebook page. Check back for updates, recordings, videos, and more!
Official Twitter handle. See my inane ramblings and short thoughts!
Sometimes I post photos & they look alright.
A PDF of my current C.V. - with third person bio - is available upon request. Just ask!