By Dennis Eveland | December 31, 2016 at 04:20 PM EST | No Comments
Since I started composing many years ago, I had always wished to have one of my selections added to the Texas PML. Every year, I would look at the new list, which is edited in July. I wouldn't seen any of my selections added. It was very frustrating to see that I could not get anything added. Finally, I stopped looking last year.
This year, there was a post on the Yellowboard regarding new additions to the PML. I really did not plan on seeing any of my selections there, so I was basically looking to find something new for my own band. Lo and behold, "Four Short Festive Dances" was listed. At first, I actually thought the listing was incorrect. So, without hesitation, I went to Texas UIL website and looked at the changes. After scrolling through the list, I did not see my work, so I thought it was wrong. I went ahead and put the title in the search bar, and there it was.
I was so excited that I first told my wife, Felisa. Then, I called the publisher, TRN, to tell them the news. They were totally unaware of this happening. So, I was the first to tell them.
"Four Short Festive Dances" was performed at the 2015 Midwest International Band and Orchestra convention in Chicago, Illinois. I hope that bands will perform this work. It can be played as either a grade 2 (play 3 movements) or grade 3 (play the entire work).
I learned that I need to be patient and keep writing. Thank you to William Owens for his support and encouragement. Happy New Year!!
By Dennis Eveland | October 14, 2014 at 01:17 PM EDT | No Comments
Well I am very excited that the McKinney Boyd Honors Chamber Orchestra will be performing my original composition "Aviator". They will be performing the 2nd and 3rd movements. This will be taking place on December 16 at 4:00pm. My dear friend, Michael Link, is their conductor. I look forward to hearing this performance.
My newest work for band, Oshogatsu", is now available from TRN Music Publishers. This excited grade 4 work is a celebration of the Japanese New Year.
A big thank you and congratulations to both the Valley High School (Alabama) and Buckhorn (Alabama) High School Bands for having me write their marching band music this year.
In closing, I have two new grade 1 selections coming out from TRN in the near future. I also just finished a new work entitled "Fanfare for a Festive Celebration". I just sent the score to West Texas A&M University. I am hoping that they will have time to record it for me.
By Dennis Eveland | July 24, 2014 at 04:01 PM EDT | No Comments
I've been blessed to have many great music teachers, vocal and instrumental. In today's blog, I just want to mention them and say thank you.
In elementary school, I had 3 different music teachers. Each one had a little influence on my love for music. Mrs. Millington, Miss Young, and Mr. Etter were excellent teachers who had a passion for teaching for teaching and music. I remember the end of the year musicals that we did at the high school auditorium. Mr. Etter was the choreographer and Miss Young helped with the teaching of the singing. Great memories! How can I forget singing "Food Glorious Food", or all the great Disney selections.
In Junior High, I had 3 different Chorus teachers. Each one of these individuals brought their own special quality to the program. In 7th grade we had Mrs Stephenson, 8th grade was Mr. Stevenson, and in 9th grade, Mr. Etter became the director. Of course, in band, we had the "legend", Mr. John Thompson.
In High School, both chorus and band were done by Mr. Keen. He was assisted in band by Mr. Sinnock. At that time, Canton was well known in the state of Illinois for all of their music groups (band and choir).
In College, there were so many outstanding teachers that influenced my future. While at Western Illinois University and later at Vandercook College, I was blessed to study with some of the best in the business. I am going to mention some of these great talents. Some of these included : Dale Hopper, Christopher Izzo, Dennis Johnson, Roger Collins, Robert Koper, William DeJong, Hugo Magliocco, Roland Vamos, Ann Collins, Victor Zajec, Roger Rocco, Bart Ghent, Michael Katterjohn, Ethel Merker, Bob Hills, Bruce Gardner, and many others.
In closing, I give thanks for the opportunity to learn from these great individuals.Do you remember who influenced your decision to have the type of career that you have?
By Dennis Eveland | June 29, 2014 at 10:21 PM EDT | No Comments
First of all, it has been a long, long time since I've written on my blog. With much encouragement from my Uncle Bill, I've decided to restart my blogging. Since the last blog, there have been many things happen to me, in the writing area. Several new concert band compositions, two new string orchestra works, and a few marching band shows.
However, most recently, a dear friend of mine (Michael Link), has petitioned to perform my newest string orchestra work at the Midwest Band and Orchestra clinic, in Chicago, Illinois. This performance will take place at 4:00pm on December 17th. Mike is the Director of the McKinney Boyd (Tx.) High School Honor Chamber Orchestra. We have known each other for about 35 years. As many people know, I am from Canton, Illinois. Mike is from Farmington, Illinois, which is located about 15 minutes north of Canton. We both attended Western Illinois University at the same time, and each of us graduated with our Masters Degree from Vandercook College of Music, at different times.
They will be performing my new work for string orchestra entitled "Aviator".
Here are the program notes for "Aviator":
Aviator is a three movement composition which is dedicated to my friend, Juan Valenciano. Mr. Valenciano recently retired as Director of the J.W. Nixon High School Orchestra, in Laredo, Texas. The J.W. Nixon High School Orchestra, under his direction, was a consistant University Interscholastic League Sweepstakes winner. His orchestra premiered this work.
Movement One is titled “Departure”. This movement depicts the beginning of our flight into space. It is the intent to have this movement be lively and yet very flowing.
Movement Two is called “Above the Clouds”. In this movement, we can imagine the piece and serenity of being above the clouds. This lovely work should be performed with a lot of expression. A string quintet is featured at measure 43.
Movement Three is called “Arrival to Earth”. As we begin our descent back to earth, the listener can feel the excitement of coming home. Keep this movement full of energy and excitement.
I've also been informed by my publisher, TRN Music Publisher, Inc., that there may be a chance of another selection being performed as well. They have been contacted by a few bands requesting my newest works. I'm crossing my fingers for this to happen.
My hope is to be at the convention to get to hear this outstanding orchestra, as well as be hanging out at the TRN booth. I hope to see some of you there.
By Dennis Eveland | April 23, 2012 at 03:27 PM EDT | No Comments
Western Illinois University was the school I attended for undergraduate studies. All I can say is that I had the opportunity to study with some of the best teachers in the world.
For my french horn teacher, Roger Collins was one of the best teachers I could have hoped for. Not only was he a great teacher, but he cared about his students. I always felt that I could go and visit him about personal issues, as well as music. The brass faculty was superb. Dr. William DeJong and Dr. Hugo Magliocco were tough, but really knew there craft. I was very blessed to study with all three of these great teachers.
At the time I was at WIU, we had some outstanding conductors. The band department had Christopher Izzo, Dale Hopper, and eventually Dennis Johnson. Mr. Hopper was internationally known for his arranging/composing/drill writing. Before coming to Western, he was Director of the Herscher High School Band program. Mr. Izzo had some amazing wind ensembles at Western. Mr. Johnson was one of the most musical conductors I've ever had the priviledge to be taught by. He was really into Grainger and Persichetti, to name a few composers.
The Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Dr. Roland Vamos. Dr. Vamos was full of great musical knowledge. His wife was a fantastic violinist performer and teacher. And who cannot forget the Careys. Dr. Gerald Carey, a great flutist and his wife Dr. Tanya Carey, a great cellist and knowledgeable on double bass.
The woodwind faculty was also fantastic! Dr. Robert Koper, Dr. Robert Sibbing, and Dr. George Townsend. What a great group of musicians!!
Being a part of the Marching Leathernecks was a great treat! Dale Hopper was the best thing to happen for Western. He did so much for both the marching band and jazz program. I was very fortunate to learn from him.
My years at WIU introduced me to a lot of fellow musicians. Thank you WIU for some great memories!!
By Dennis Eveland | April 01, 2012 at 10:52 AM EDT | No Comments
Leaving the Canton Junior High School band program was very difficult for many of us. We all enjoyed learning and playing in Mr. Thompson's band. We had much success, so we really didn't want to leave the familiar band hall of the Junior High.
When we arrived at Canton Senior, later to be change to Canton High School, our new director was Arden Keen. Mr. Keen stood about 6 foot 7, so he was a very tall individual. His son, Marty, I believe was about 6 foot 11 and played college basketball.
The marching band at Canton was mostly known, at that time, for being a good parade band. Field show wise, we still marched "Big Ten" style. We learned a new show about every week, so we were never very clean, but we had some entertaining shows. Concert band was really good. We always got our first divisions. I remember my junior year when we placed in the state at the University of Illinois. My senior year we placed second in the state.
Mr. Keen was not only the school's band director, but he also taught choir and started a swing choir. He was a very talented individual not only as an instrumentalist, but also a vocalist and actor.
My senior year, we changed to corps style marching. Dale Hopper, later to be my college band director, wrote the drill, and we played some of his arrangements, as well as one by Gil Papp (director at Monticello High School). We placed in the finals at the Illinois State University marching competition. At the University of Illlinois marching band festival, we didn't perform quite as well. The highlight, for me personally, was taking first place "best drum major" in Class A. competition. I remember my fellow band members literally dragging me into Memorial Stadium to get the trophy. I didn't, at the time, believe I really placed first.
Another director that influenced me in a positive way was Marc Sinnock. Mr. Sinnock conducted the concert band and jazz band. He helped me a lot of confidence as drum major. I remember him and Mr. Keen trying to help me come up with a good salute. It worked!!
In closing, I was co-winner of the John Philip Sousa award. We so many good players, that Mr. Keen had multiple winners. I was blessed to be in the Canton bands with many good directors.
http://trnmusic.com/mp3s/arabiandance.mp3 is dedicated to both Mr. Keen and Mr. Thompson. It was performed by the Canton High School band in the early 2000s . The band was directed by Joe Roman. However, Mr. Thompson conducted the selection and Mr. Keen was able to watch. Since then, Mr. Keen left us due to a long battle with cancer. Mr. Thompson spends his day on his ranch. I call him now and then to thank him for all he did for me.
Next blog will be about my influences at Western Illinois University.
By Dennis Eveland | March 25, 2012 at 11:23 PM EDT | No Comments
For those that don't know about Canton Illinois, let me first explain that my hometown is located in west central Illinois, about 45 minutes from Peoria. Canton is a middle sized town with a population of about 12-13,000 people. I believe when Canton was at it's peak, we had about 15-16,000 population. This was in the 1970s.
I was very honored to be a part of the band program in Canton. The Canton bands had a reputation of being one of the finest in the state. Our junior high band was definitely at the top of the list in central illinois, as well as one of the finest in the state. Our band director was Mr. John Thompson. Mr. Thompson was known as one of the best educators in the state. He is a very talented director who taught us that through hard work and discipline, we can be successful.
While in the Canton Jr. High School Concert Band, which was the top band out of 3, we performed works that most high school bands play. I remember in particular my ninth grade year when we performed "Symphonic Dance No.#3 by Williams, "King Cotton March by Sousa, and another I cannot recall. After 38 years, you sometimes cannot recall everything. We went to both District and State Contest. At the state contest, we did something that doesn't always happen. Not only did we get straight 1s, but we got perfect scores from all 3 judges. This had happened in the past, but by not means recently.
While in the Canton Junior High Band, we played great works for band: "Emperata Overture", "Washinton Post March", and many others. I remember us sightreading almost daily with marches from the "Uncle Sam Astrut" booklet. Yes, this includes alot of 6/8 marches, which alot of directors shy away from today.
Mr. Thompson is one of the reasons I became a band director. One of my earlier compositions, "Arabian Dance" was composed and dedicated to both Mr. Thompson and my high school director, Mr. Arden Keen. Check this out here: http://trnmusic.com/products/Arabian-Dance.html
Next time, I'll write about our high school band director and program.
By Dennis Eveland | March 18, 2012 at 12:54 AM EDT | No Comments
While writing this blog, I thought it would be nice to mention those people who were an inspiration to me in my musical career. To start, I need to mention that I come from a midwestern community in Illinois, called Canton. While growing up in the Canton Schools, we had very strong elementary, junior high and high school music programs.
My earliest inspiration was my elementary music teacher, Miss Vickie Young. Miss Young taught us in a way that inspired us to enjoy music for all of our life. I remember being in our end of the year musical. This was when selected students from all of the elementary schools performed a full concert with singing and some choreography. Miss Young and Mr. Richard Etter (who taught at some of the other elementary schools) put together an extravaganza that I still remember to this day.
This program was performed at the high school auditorium. We always had a full audience. Mr. Etter was known for being involved in the local playhouse and was very good at choreography. We did everything from american folk music to popular music of the time. We wore appropriate costumes to fit the show's theme. This was a major production which took a lot of practice time. From I remember, it was well worth it.
Another inspiration had to be singing in the local church choir. As an elementary student, I attended the Canton Church of the Brethern and got to sing in the choir. Led by volunteers, Harley and Jackie Davis, we learned how to read music and sing with 4 part harmony. Both Harley, Jackie and their children were involved in the local playhouse, as well. When I entered high school, I started going to the local methodist church. The choir director, Allen Webner, was the director. They had an extremely strong choral program. I took voice lessons from Mr. Webner during my high school years.
All of the singing opportunities I had greatly influenced my ear training and enjoying music. So, my early years was influenced by Vickie Young, Richard Etter, Allen Webner, and Harley & Jackie Davis.
Next time I will write about my junior high years and being a part of an abolutely great band program led by Mr. John Thompson.
By Dennis Eveland | March 11, 2012 at 10:14 PM EDT | No Comments
If you would have asked me about 20 years ago if I was going to be a published composer, I would have thought you were crazy. I had the opportunity to study with a well known marching band arranger/composer Dale F. Hopper, at Western Illinois University. Then, I studied concert and marching band arranging with Kelly Love and Michael Katterjohn at Vandercook College of Music. Yet, I would have never thought I'd be writing music professionally.
When I moved to Laredo Texas in the summer of 1988, I had the opportunity to do some editing to Jay Bocook's arrangement of "Firebird Suite" for the United High School Band. I mean "a little" editing. Thanks to my supervisor, friend, and mentor Javier R. Vera, I was eventually given the opportunity to do more and more arranging. It wasn't until about 2001 that I finally did my first concert band selection, "Stillmeadow Overture". I wrote it for the Washington Middle School Band, where I was Director of Bands. I took this selection to Mr. Carlos Gil, Director of Bands at United South High School. Mr. Gil took the time to record it for me. With encouragement from Robert Geisler, who was a composer and worked at Southern Music Company, I submitted it to the CL Barnhouse Company. With the help of Andrew Glover and Andy Clark, we made necessary changes and this work was published. I owe a lot to the people at Barnhouse for giving me my first opportunity. I will always be thankful to them for this.