Giovanni Santos – a great conductor, tremendous friend, and the original commissioner of For Angels, Slow Ascending – is taking his wind ensemble at La Sierra University to Europe this summer, and on Saturday, March 11 they’ll be holding a fundraising concert to help them get there. Featuring a ton of great music, and including For Angels, Slow Ascending in the original maestro’s hands. This is one not to miss!

7pm, $15-$10-$5. Tickets and more here.

As the calendar turns to 2017, I’ll be doing some small tweaks and redesigns to this space. Mostly cosmetic, which means you can still do all your favorite GSM things (listen, view, and purchase music by visiting the Music page, and find me on Twitter and Linkedin by visiting the homepage) uninterrupted. If you notice that something is missing or broken, don’t hesitate to let me know by using the Contact function, and I’ll get in touch with you right away.

EQ142.jpgThe University of Michigan Chamber Choir has just released their drop-dead gorgeous album White Hurricane, available on Equilibrium records and for download here. In addition to some really fantastic music by my friends Kristin Kuster and Daniel Knaggs, they offer a stunning recording of my piece Two Lorca Songs. Makes a great belated Christmas present for the choral music fan in your life, and makes even better New Year listening. Order from Equilibrium above, from Amazon here, or find it on Google Play and Spotify!



Not pictured: Kevin Volans.

There are few things that get under my skin more than the popular stereotype of the millennial. You know the one: lazy, entitled, constantly staring at the screen to see if they can find trigger warnings in their politically correct Facebooks. It’s a lazy, facile, and (frankly) unbelievably stupid characterization of a vague collection of individuals that, when examined more closely, doesn’t really exist. And yet it’s pervasive in our culture here and internationally, mostly perpetuated by relevance trolls or writers who have literally nothing else to write about but often easily seen in social networks and casual conversation, even among millennials themselves. If you are a millennial (like me), you see it in boldface all around you. You’re too sensitive. You’re lazy and coddled. You’re entitled. 

Monday was a red-letter day; my frustration with this stereotypical garbage finally intersected with the new music community. (more…)

It’s a well-recognized cause of children-who-are-wrong.jpghand-wringing in the classical music world that concert/art/classical music, new or old, is struggling to stay “relevant.” Our music is losing a PR war, the voices will cry. Where once classical music institutions were beloved national treasures, today they’re cultural non-factors.

“Relevance” is a term often sung in harmony with the timeless “classical music is dying” refrain; not a great starting point, as every “death of classical” article is bound to be a masterclass in logical fallacies and mistaking correlation for causation. What it represents, though, is legitimate: anxiety on the part of classical music’s devotees and practitioners that regardless of the art form’s quantitative place in modern culture, its qualitative place – the actual good it does for the hearts and souls of non-musicians – is being threatened or marginalized. It represents fear that no one cares about or understands the artistic offerings we make so vulnerably, and in the face of pop music or market saturation or smartphone culture the level of appreciation is only destined to wane further. Artists generally want to improve the world through their craft, and even if that’s not the case, they still want to share their projects with people who will find them resonant. As an old teacher once said, we all just want to be heard. So, the discussion of relevance is an understandable one.