Last week, the American music world’s shine grew just a little dimmer.

Richard Toensing (‘Dick’ to his students), a composer, conductor and music educator, passed away on July 3, just a month after announcing to his friends and colleagues that he’d been diagnosed with late-stage pancreatic cancer.

The honors Dick achieved in his time on Earth place him in the finest class of American composers. You can read about them in his obituary, here. But since his accomplishments have already been well-documented (and maybe since I tend to think we spend entirely too much time talking about awards and jobs in this business), I’m going to use this space to share some other thoughts. (more…)

Dragonfly, for mallet trio, has been named the Grand Prize Winner of the 2013 TorQ Percussion Seminar Composition Competition! The TorQ Percussion Quartet will premiere the trio next week at their annual Percussion Seminar at Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. A big thanks to Rich, Adam, Jamie, and Dan – can’t wait to hear the premiere! To find out more about Dragonfly, see the score, and purchase it from Greg, visit the Chamber Music section.

I’m thrilled to announce that the fantastic Seattle-area chorus, The Esoterics, have named me the winner of their POLYPHONOS Composition Competition for the 2014 season! I’ll be writing a new piece for them to be premiered in October 2014 in Seattle, not far from my old haunts in Tacoma (Go Loggers!). To find out more about this amazing group of musicians, visit You can also check out the press release here. A huge thanks to the judges, Esoterics director Eric Banks, and the group – can’t wait to work with everyone!

The University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance announced this week that Greg’s newest work for choir, Two Lorca Songsis the winner of the 2013 Brehm Prize in Choral Composition! The work comes with a $2000 cash prize, and the work will be premiered next season by the University of Michigan Chamber Choir, directed by Grammy-award winning conductor Jerry Blackstone. The Brehm Prize is made possible through an extremely generous gift from William and Dolores Brehm. An big thanks goes out to Dr. Blackstone and to Mr. and Mrs. Brehm! See the official announcement of the Prize results here.